The Scottsboro Trials

1930's Research Project

What Happened?

The Scottsboro boys were on trial for raping two white women, Ruby Bates and Victoria Price. Although they were on trial for this, they didn't actually rape anyone. Bates eventually came out as a witness. I read,"Bates said that there was no rape, that none of the defendants touched her or even spoke to her, and that the accusations of rape were made after Price told her to "frame up a story" to avoid moral charges."(Linder). This shows that Price was not telling the truth and that the boys were framed.
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How Did People React?

Both Alabama and the jury reacts harshly to the boys and their trials. Against all evidence that the boys are innocent, they still give them the death sentence. I read,"the chief testimony included the carefully examined report of two physicians...Testimony was also given by...Ruby Bates, who now openly denied that she or her friend, Victoria Price, had ever been raped...On April 9, 1933, the first of the defendants, Haywood Patterson, was again found guilty of rape and sentenced to execution."(Johnson). This shows that despite what the truth was or what evidence backed it up, Alabama and the jury didn't care and gave them the death penalty.
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How Does This Compare to TKAM?

The Scottsboro trials are very similar to Tom Robinson's trial in the book To Kill A Mockingbird. In both trials, the plaintif is lying about being raped by a black man/men. I read,"Upon leaving the train, the two women immediately accused the African-American of raping them..."(Johnson). I also read,"'Miss Mayella...you've testified that the defendant hit you, grabbed you around the neck, choked you, and took advantage of you."(Lee;pg 185). In both cases, the girls accused someone or some people of raping them.


The cases are very similar but have some differences as well. I read,"The undisputed star of the third Patterson trial and the second Norris trial..."(Linder). This showed two differences. In the Scottsboro trials, there were nine men being convicted but in the book, To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom Robinson was the only one being convicted. Also, there were many trials for the Scottsboro boys. For Tom, there was only one.