An overview of the infamous scottsboro trial of 1931

From these beginnings, the Scottsboro case would become the most celebrated legal battle of the s and would focus the attention of the nation and the world on racial prejudice in America. The nature of the defendants' accused crime made it unlikely they would receive a just trial. The charge of raping white women had been traditionally used to justify the lynching of African Americans in the Southwith white men being cast in the role of protectors of southern white women. The nine defendants themselves narrowly escaped a lynching at the hands of an angry mob on the day after their arrest.

An overview of the infamous scottsboro trial of 1931

Olen Montgomery Andy Wright Price repeated her testimony, adding that the black teenagers split into two groups of six to rape her and Ruby Bates.

An overview of the infamous scottsboro trial of 1931

Price accused Eugene Williams of holding the knife to her throat, and said that all of the other teenagers had knives. Ruby Bates took the stand, identifying all five defendants as among the 12 entering the gondola car, putting off the whites, and "ravishing" her and Price.

Bridges was the next prosecution witness, repeating his earlier testimony.

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On cross examination, Bridges testified detecting no movement in the spermatozoa found in either woman, suggesting intercourse had taken place some time before. He also testified that defendant Willie Roberson was "diseased with syphilis and gonorrhea, a bad case of it.

No new evidence was revealed. The next prosecution witnesses testified that Roberson had run over train cars leaping from one to another, and that he was in much better shape than he claimed.

The defense again waived closing argument, and surprisingly the prosecution then proceeded to make more argument.


The defense objected vigorously, but the Court allowed it. The jury began deliberating at four in the afternoon. Roy Wright trial[ edit ] The prosecution agreed that year-old Roy Wright [2] was too young for the death penalty; it did not seek it.

An overview of the infamous scottsboro trial of 1931

The prosecution presented only testimony from Price and Bates. His case went to the jury at nine that evening. His jury and that from the trial of five men were deliberating at the same time. Roy Wright At nine on Thursday morning, April 9,the five defendants in Wednesday's trial were all found guilty.

Roy Wright's jury could not agree on sentencing, and was declared a hung jury that afternoon. All the jurors agreed on his guilt, but seven insisted on the death sentence while five held out for life imprisonment in cases like this, that was often an indication that the jurors believed the suspect was innocent but they were unwilling to go against community norms of conviction.

Judge Hawkins declared a mistrial. The Associated Press reported that the defendants were "calm" and "stoic" as Judge Hawkins handed down the death sentences one after another. While appeals were filed, the Alabama Supreme Court issued indefinite stays of executions 72 hours before the defendants were scheduled to die.

The men's cells were next to the execution chamberand they heard the July 10, execution of William Hokes, [43] a black man from St.

"Scottsboro Boys"

Clair County convicted of murder. Chamleewho filed the first motions, and Joseph Brodsky.Overview Synopsis In , nine African-American teenagers, between the ages of 13 and 19 years old, were arrested and charged with the rape of two white women, while traveling through Alabama. Scottsboro Trial DefendantsThe saga began on March 25, , when a fight broke out between groups of young black and white passengers riding a freight train through Jackson County.

The white boys were forced from the train and wired ahead to the next stop on the line to have the black youths apprehended. The article reports that nine African American teens falsely convicted of rape in Scottsboro, Alabama in were awarded posthumous pardons by the state of Alabama in "JUSTICE AND REASON" AT DECATUR.

Scottsboro Case

Williams, Miya // America; 8/7/, Vol. 57 Issue 18, p The author reflects on the. Seven of the nine Scottsboro Boys had been held in jail for over six years without trial by the time jury selection began in the third trial of Clarence Norris on Monday, July 12, Trying to beat the degree heat, Judge Callahan rushed the trial even more than usual, and by Wednesday morning the prosecution had a death sentence.

Application of Common Core State Standards comparing observations, characters and closing arguments from two trials using non-fictional accounts dealing with the Scottsboro Boys trials of and and the fictional trial narrative in To Kill a Mockingbird. Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more.

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