Scottsboro Boys of 1931

accused of something that didn't happen

The Scottsboro Boys were a group of nine black boys.

On March 25, 1931, alot of white people on a freight train traveling between Chattanooga and Memphis, Tennessee. Several of the white boys aboard jumped off the train and reported to the sheriff they had been beaten up by a group of black boys. The sheriff made a group of men, typically armed to stop and search the train in Alabama then they found the boys and arrested them and also found two girls who said the boys raped them.

About the case

The case was first heard in Scottsboro, Alabama in three trials, the boys got bad a legal representation, except Roy Wright who was thirteen and got convicted of rape and sentenced to death, because that was the sentence at the time if a black guy raped a white woman. But the American Communist Party, was appealed by the case. The Alabama Supreme Court let seven out of the eight boys go, and granted thirteen-year-old Eugene Williams a new trial because he was a juvenile. Chief Justice John C. Anderson protested against it,but, the boys didn't accept an impartial jury, fair trial, sentencing, or counsel. Before the case was closed they were in Kilby Prison.

The Case Returns

The case came back up into session at Decatur, Alabama with Judge Horton . During the second, one of the victims admitted that she faked the rape story and said none of the Scottsboro Boys touched women. The jury found the boys guilty, but the judge set aside the verdict and granted an even newer trial. After a new series of trials, the answer was the same, guilty. The cases were unsucsessful tried three times. For the third time a jury, with a new black member, returned a third guilty verdict. Charges were finally dropped for four of the nine boys. Sentences for the rest ranged from 75 years to death, and that didn't happen but all except two served prison time for two years. One was shot in prison by a guard. Two escaped, and were charged with crimes, and were sent back to prison. Clarence Norris, the oldest defendant and the only one sentenced to death, escaped parole and went into hiding in 1946. He was found in 1976, and wrote a book about his experiences. The last surviving defendant died in 1989.