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Despite being one of the foundational principles of the American legal standards, the notion of every ethnicity and nationality having legal rights in the American legal context was quite hard-won. Due to the landmark case of Hernandez v. Texas, the notion that every single citizen of the U.S. despite their unrelated characteristics was entitled to the same amount of legal protection. Thus, the court ruling established the principles of equality and, more specifically, the idea of equal protection as the principal American right to which every citizen was entitled.
The case in which Hernandez participated was rather simple; according to its details, required that a Mexican American should receive the same extent and number of rights that an average American does (“Hernandez v. Texas (1954)”). Specifically, the case involved a murder trial during which Hernandez strived to prove that him being Mexican American should not impact the jury’s decision in locating the murderer of Joel Espinoza, as the man whom he allegedly shot (“Hernandez v. Texas (1954)”).
Despite the presence of strong evidence that indicated that Hernandez was to blame for the death of Espinoza, the fact that his conviction was initially based purely on his ethnic identity served as the starting point for the case to be launched (“Hernandez v. Texas (1954)”). Therefore, the fact that his nationality served as the main factor in arresting him made it possible for Hernandez to appeal for the reconsideration of his case.
The case of Hernandez v. Texas represents the ideas expressed in the 14th Amendment quite accurately. Namely, the 14th Amendment argues that every citizen of the United States is entitled to the same number of rights, no matter what the race, personal beliefs, or any other personal characteristic might be (“Hernandez v. Texas (1954)”). Therefore, as a Mexican person, Hernandez had the right for his ethnicity and culture to be represented among the jury members to ensure the fairness of the trial. Without the ethnic perspective added to the jury, the decision thereof would have been rather biased and could not have reflected the actual situation.
The case of Hernandez v. Texas illustrates quite graphically how the U.S. perceived the notions of race and ethnicity in the 1950s. Specifically, the very fact that a case like Hernandez v. Texas exists indicates that the justice system of the U.S. of the 1950s was two-class-oriented. Specifically, the legal standards set by the Constitution and the amendments implied the presence of two key races, which were European and African American, thus excluding the ethnicities such s Mexican (“Hernandez v. Texas (1954)”).
The resulting failure to recognize the rights of the specified ethnic minority and other ethnic groups underrepresented in the U.S. led to major misunderstandings and infringements upon the rights of minority groups, as in the case of Hernandez. Texas showed. Thus, the case under analysis became a landmark due to the focus on equality for every ethnic minority in the U.S.
In light of the statements made above, the court ruling in the case under analysis indicated that major change was taking place in the American legal system. Recognizing Hernandez’s claim as valid and allowing for a retrial that involved a team of jury representatives of Hernandez’s ethnicity, the verdict showed that the importance o diversity and representation was finally being recognized. Therefore, the court ruling in Hernandez v. Texas should be considered a crucial step in fighting for equal rights.
Although the case of Hernandez v. Texas is quite easy to underestimate, it laid the foundation for the effective teaching of diverse groups. By pointing out the flaws in the American legal and educational systems, Hernandez created a safer setting for receiving appropriate medical services. Namely, the author emphasized that, even with an all-white jury, Hernandez managed to win the case and prove that his skin color had nothing to do with the murder for which society wanted to hold him accountable.
“Hernandez v. Texas (1954).” The American Yawp Reader, n.d. Web.