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Local StoryThe Massie-Kahahawai Case and the Culture of History$
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John P. Rosa

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824828257

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824828257.001.0001

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date: 16 August 2017

A Closing and an Opening

A Closing and an Opening

The Massie-Fortescue Murder Trial

Chapter:
(p.65) 4 A Closing and an Opening
Source:
Local Story
Author(s):

John P. Rosa

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824828257.003.0005

This chapter recounts the last days of the Massie–Fortescue murder trial, the sentencing of the group, and the subsequent commutation of their sentences by Governor Lawrence McCully Judd in the spring of 1932. Local audiences in the islands and malihini haoles saw the outcome of the case much differently from those on the “Mainland.” While the trial’s unorthodox legal ending provided closure to the Massie case for most continental Americans, it left an open wound for local audiences. The trial’s outcome illustrated and maintained a boundary between “locals” and “mainlanders” that was crucial to the formation of local identity in Hawaii.

Keywords:   Massie–Fortescue trial, murder trial, local identity, sentencing, commutation, cultural identity

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