Supreme Court justice family apologizes to family of slave

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circa 1830: Dred Scott (1795 – 1858), an African slave who was taken from Missouri, a slave state, in 1834 to live in free states, Illinois and Wisconsin and then back to Missouri. In 1846 Scott sued for his freedom in the Missouri state courts on grounds that his residence in those areas made him a free man. In 1857 Chief Justice of Supreme Court Roger Taney delivered the decision that Scott was a slave, not a citizen, and could not sue in a federal court. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) _ The family of the chief justice who presided over the Supreme Court 160 years ago apologized to the family of a slave who tried to sue for his freedom.

Charley Tany apologized for the words written by his great-great-grand-uncle Roger Brooke Taney in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision. Roger Taney wrote that African Americans could not have rights of their own and were inferior to white people.

Charley Taney stood outside the Maryland State House and apologized to Lynne Jackson, the great-great-granddaughter of Dred Scott, whose lawsuit prompted the decision. Jackson accepted the apology for her family and for “all African Americans.”

Monday marked the 160-year anniversary of the decision. The apology took place in front of a statue of Roger Brooke Taney.

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