Research Materials

One of the main goals in making the film was providing information on the case. On this page, you can also download the Research Guide that accompanies our Institutional version. This includes:

• overview

• background information

• discussion questions and activities

• bios of civil rights heroes

To download the research guide, click here: Research Guide

 

ADDITIONAL RESEARCH INFORMATION

Timeline of the case (thanks to Roland Hwang)

June 19, 1982 – Vincent Chin bludgeoned to death.

June 23, 1982 – Vincent Chin dies as a result of his injuries.

March 16, 1983 – Wayne County Judge Charles Kaufman finds Ebens and Nitz guilty of manslaughter after a plea bargain and sentences each of them to three years probation, a $3,000 fine, and $780 in court fees. The prosecuting attorney is not present and neither Chin’s mother nor any witnesses is called to testify. Two weeks later, American Citizens for Justice forms.

July 1983 - U.S. Justice Department orders FBI to investigate whether Ebens and Nitz violated Chin’s civil rights.

November 1983 - The U.S. Justice Department, following an FBI investigation, files charges and a federal grand jury indicts Ebens and Nitz on two counts – one for violating Chin’s civil rights, the other for conspiracy.

June 1984 – Ebens is found guilty of violating Chin’s civil rights but not of conspiracy. He is sentenced to 25 years in prison, but is released on a $20,000 bond. Nitz is cleared of both charges.

September 1986 - Ebens’ conviction is overturned by a federal appeals court on a legal technicality; an American Citizens for Justice attorney is accused of improperly coaching prosecution witnesses.

April 1987 - Under intense public pressure, the Justice Department orders a retrial, but this time in a new venue: Cincinnati.

May 1987 – In a retrial in Cincinnati, Ebens is cleared by a federal jury.

July 1987 - A civil suit orders Ebens to pay $1.5 million to Chin’s estate as part of a court-approved settlement. However, Ebens disposes of his assets and flees the state. He has not paid any of the settlement.

September 1987 - Disgusted with the country’s legal system, Lily Chin, Vincent Chin’s mother, leaves the U.S. and moves back to her native village in Guangzhou province in China.

 

Additional links to articles

 

Vincent Who? (Asian American Press) – March 11, 2011

Remembering Vincent Chin 28 years later (Ann Arbor News) – June 20, 2010

Vincent Chin’s hate crime attack was 27 years ago today (Nikkiview) – June 19, 2009

No Justice for Vincent then, No Justice for Luis Now (New American Media) – May 8, 2009

25 years after Vincent Chin murder, Asian Americans still face hate crimes (World Journal) – June 20, 2007

Detroit and the Legacy of Vincent Chin (Solidarity) – November 2002

“I’m Vincent Chin” – The hate crime that created Asian America (imdiversity) - June 19, 2002

A rededication to the struggle: Twenty years after Vincent Chin’s murder (Asianweek) – June 26, 2002

 

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