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A fight breaks out between white and black men riding as hoboes on a southern Railroad freight train. Nine black boys are arrested for assault by an angry posse in Paint Rock, Alabama. Later gang rape charges were added following accusations from two white women who were also on the train Victoria Price and Ruby Bates.
The man to call if you were charged with a capital crime Leibowitz had represented seventy-eight people charged with first-degree murder His record over that period was seventy-seven acquittals, one hung jury, and no convictions. Received a call from the International Labor Defense Asked him whether he would defend the Scottsboro Boys in their new trials
-April 7-9 The Scottsboro boys excluding Roy Wright are tried and convicted, and sentenced to death. The trial of Roy Wright -age 13- ends in a mistrial when 11 jurors hold out for a death sentence while one juror asked for life imprisonment. The conviction of Hay wood Patterson was the first conviction under Samuel Leibowitz in 15 years. The NAACP gets involved to raise money for the defendants -June 22 The execution of the boys was held up pending appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.
seventeen years old Lived in a poor neighborhood of Huntsville, Alabama Always very vague about the rape accusations Many believe she made the whole thing up to gain publicity
Samuel Leibowitz agrees not to charge lawyer fees to the boys The NAACP withdrawals from the case -March 27, 1932 Haywood Patterson’s retrial begins before Judge James Horton Ruby Bates testified as a witness and denied any occurrence of rape. Patterson is still found guilty and sentenced to death by electric chair. -June 22, 1933 Judge Horton sets new trials.
-April 1st, 1935 The US Supreme Court finds that there was an obvious violation of the 14th amendment that states: qualifying blacks can be on a jury. The Scottsboro trials were held with a biased, all-white jury. -January, 1936 Patterson is found guilty and sentenced to 75 years in prison Ozzie Powell slit a deputy’s throat on a bus ride back to the Birmingham jail. He was later shot in the head by a sheriff.(both Ozzie and the deputy lived)
Haywood Patterson- sentenced to 75 years in 1937; escapes prison in 1948; arrested by FBI agents in 1950 and charged with murder in a bar fight, soon dies in prisonCharles Weems- sentenced to 75 years in 1937; released on parole in 1938;Clarence Norris- sentenced to death in 1937; 1939 sentence is life imprisonment; released on parole in 1944;Andy Wright- sentenced to 99 years; released on parole in 1951Ozzie Powell- 20 years for assaulting an officer, rape dropped; released on parole in 1946Olen MontgomeryEugene Williams charges droppedWillie RobersonRoy Wright
The author, Harper Lee, felt that the Scottsboro trials were an ugly reminder of racial bigotry The Scottsboro Trials share several similarities with the fictional trial of Tom Robinson in the book. Both the fictional and real trials had all-white juries. In the South of the 1930s
The first trial began just twelve days after the arrest and lasted only three days. This was entirely too fast to have a thought out, unbiased verdict. In spite of evidence of the men’s innocence, eight of the nine men were found guilty and, at first, sentenced to death. The extreme sentences and hasty trial left many observers outraged, and rightfully so.
"American Experience | Scottsboro: An American Tragedy." PBS: Public BroadcastingService. UNCTB, 1999. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/scottsboro/>.Johnson, Claudia Durst. "The Scottsboro Trails." Oracle ThinkQuest. 1999. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.<http://library.thinkquest.org/12111/scottsboro/scottsbo.htm>.Linder, Douglas O. "The Trials of The Scottsboro Boys." UMKC School of Law. 1999. Web. 19Oct. 2011. <http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/scottsboro/scottsb.htm>.Salter, Daren. "Scottsboro Trials." Encyclopedia of Alabama. University of Washington, 6Feb. 2008. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. <http://encyclopediaofalabama.org/face/Article.jsp?id=h-1456>."To Kill A Mockingbird and the Scottsboro Boys Trial: Profiles in Courage | EDSITEment."EDSITEment | The Best of the Humanities on the Web. McGraw-Hill. Web. 19 Oct. 2011.<http://edsitement.neh.gov/lesson-plan/kill-mockingbird-and-scottsboro-boys-trial-profiles-courage>.