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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Quinton E. Baker, February 23, 2002. Interview K-0838. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

How the protestors were sentenced

Baker recalls the sentencing process. As a result of the time he spent in court, he was unable to graduate from North Carolina Central University.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Quinton E. Baker, February 23, 2002. Interview K-0838. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

CHRIS McGINNIS:
Were you, Pat and John the only people sentenced to prison?
QUINTON E. BAKER:
No, no, me, Pat, John, Buddy Tieger (his name is Joseph by the way, we call him Buddy), there were Lou Calhoun, there were probably eight or nine of us that were sentenced.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Were you all sentenced to the same amount of time?
QUINTON E. BAKER:
No, and we went to different places, different prisons.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
All eight of you?
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Yeah, pretty much. Well, John and I wound up in the same prison.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
You and John?
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Me, John and Lou Calhoun. It was really strange, first of all—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
What was the sentence?
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Mine was a year and a half. I don't know what the others were total.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you expect jail time or was it a surprise?
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Yes, I expected jail time. What they did was, they thought—McKissick tried to get me off, or tried to get me off by telling them that I was scheduled to graduate in June and so—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
He was your attorney.
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Yes. What the judge did was simply hold up Capus for Commitment until June.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Capus for Commitment, what is that?
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Well, when you are sentenced, there is a commitment form, or there is a thing where they either take your right away, instead of them taking me right away, they issued a thing that I had to turn myself in on a particular date in order to serve my jail time. He was allowing me to graduate, supposedly.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
But, simultaneously, you were in court, so of course you couldn't.
QUINTON E. BAKER:
There was no way that I was going to graduate, it was just a ploy that McKissick was using trying to get minimal or trying to get me paroled or something.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
So, he just—
QUINTON E. BAKER:
So he made an example, he was like, "Okay, we'll show you what we'll do." He won't have to go to jail right away. [Laughter] We are going to be kind.
CHRIS McGINNIS:
We are going to be distracting him the entire time.
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Which was, which was more difficult for me because everybody else who was sentenced, went right away. I was out for a month, this was in April. I think I had a month and about a half that I was out running around knowing that on a particular day—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Did you think about leaving entirely?
QUINTON E. BAKER:
No, no, I was going to turn myself in, and so my friend—
CHRIS McGINNIS:
Was it part of the passive resistance kind of thing?
QUINTON E. BAKER:
Yeah, I wouldn't do that, [run from his sentence] So that, Walter Spearman, who was John's and mine friend, picked me up that day and brought me to the Orange County Jail where I turned myself in.