Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Legal Studies

Second Department

Hispanic Studies

Reader 1

Rita Cano Alcala

Reader 2

France Lemoine

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Rights Information

© 2012 Lori Romero


People v. Zamora was a case that was decided on January 12, 1943, which led to the conviction and sentencing of five defendants guilty of assault, nine guilty of second degree murder, and three of first degree murder. This equals a total of seventeen convictions for the murder of one man, out of twenty two who were arrested. Along with those convictions, five women were arrested and, due mainly to their refusal to cooperate were sent to a woman’s reformatory (Barajas, 36). Yet there emerged many different problems that were relevant in this trial, which were brought about by both legal and social injustices. Even prior to the start of the trial there began to be a growing suspicious sentiment surfacing amongst the American people, due in large part to the yellow journalism that was going on at the moment. There were also many legal injustices that came about due to personal and social prejudice that governed the trial from beginning to end. Through the analysis of this trial, and the ensuing events, I will analyze the trial and focus on how pivotal the Zamora trial was legally. I will also examine the results of the trial and if they had any effect on the severe police brutality and the injustices being faced by the Mexican American people in the following years, specifically focusing on the Zoot Suit Riots. I will in conjunction with that analyze the social and political effects that both of these occurrences had on Chicanos, and their growing awareness of their rights. This case and the effects of it had long lasting consequences, changing the lives of many people, “this case involves the civil rights of the Mexican people, and, as an attack upon the democratic fabric, it involves all the people” (Cullen, 5).