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Ruffin's Decision in State v. Mann

Thomas Ruffin protected the institution of slavery in his decision in State v. Mann. Ruffin ignored a precedent that would have led to the case being decided in the other party's favor. Ruffin could have also ruled the case Mann's direction citing procedural problems with the case in trial court, yet he decided to use the case as an opportunity to further empower masters over their slaves. Ruffin also ignored the fact that John Mann hired Lydia, the slave. By treating Mann as the owner, Ruffin was able to spread the power of the decision to the institution of slavery as a whole.