Buck V. Bell Case Brief

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1927 U.S. Supreme Court case of Buck v. Bell The case of Buck v. Bell was presented to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1927. It involved a young woman, Carrie Buck, who was diagnosed as being feeble minded and instituted to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded. Carrie Buck was born on July 02, 1906 to Emma Harlowe Buck, who had Carrie out of wed lock. Back then, it was considered wrong to have a child out of wed lock. Therefore, Emma was deemed Feeble Minded and committed to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded. At the age of three, Carrie went to live with her foster parents, John and Alice Dobbs who raised her to adulthood. In 1923, Carrie gave birth to a daughter, out of wedlock, and as a result of a rape by the Dobb’s nephew, Clarence Garland. The Dobbs petitioned to have her deemed feeble minded, like her mother, that was later thought to have been to hide the scandal of their nephew. Carrie stayed with another set of foster parents, until she was committed to the Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feeble Minded, alongside her mother. Carrie’s daughter, Vivian Alice Elaine Buck, went to live with Carrie’s foster parents, the Dobbs. Vivian was evaluated at the age of seven months, and was also deemed to be feeble minded due to not progressing as fast as society felt that she should. …show more content…

Bell on April 22, 1927, and then on May 2 delivered an 8 to 1 decision upholding the order to sterilize Carrie Buck and the law that authorized it. (Associate Justice Pierce Butler dissented but did not write an opinion.) The majority opinion, written by Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., was just several paragraphs long”, and included, “It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their

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