The Scottsboro Boys
The biggest case that never happened
What were the Scottsboro Boys on trial for?
There were 9 black boys hitching a ride on a train. They and 4 white men got in a fight when a white man stepped on a black mans hand. 2 white men got thrown off of the train during the fight. The white men who were thrown off went to the nearest station, reported it, and the station called ahead to the next one, where the police arrested the 9 black boys, the 2 white men, and 2 white women that were on the train under charges of vagrancy. The women, after either being asked or by their own accord, told the police that the 9 black boys raped them. These boys became known as the Scottsboro Boys.
How do I know that the boys did NOT commit the crime?
The Scottsboro Boys did not commit the crime. I know this for several reasons. One reason is that the 2 women who accused the Scottsboro Boys of rape were on that train because they were running away from a place where they committed a crime, so they were looking for "ways out". A second reason I know is because three of the Scottsboro Boys claimed that all of them raped the girls, but only after threats and beatings. Even later than that, one of the women, Ruby Bates, denied that the raping ever even occured. Also, 2 of the men were disabled, one was blind and the other was too sick to walk by his self, so they could not have committed the crime.
The jury's, Alabama's, and the US Supreme Court's reactions
Alabama and the juries all convicted the boys of rape, and sentenced them to death. In the first trial, all of the boys were sentenced to death and sent to a second trial. During that second trial, the first trials verdicts were announced, guilty verdicts, making the crowd roar approval. Later, the jury for the second trial maintained those verdicts. When the case was sent to Alabamas SC, who also said that 8 of the 9 boys are guilty and would be sentenced to death. The ninth boy got a mistrial because of his young age. When the case was sent to the US SC, they said that Alabama had denied the boys their 14th amendment and due process of law, and that there was to be more trials. After many more trials, the boys were finally set free.
The similarities and differences between this case and Tom Robinson's case
Toms case and the Scottsboro case are similar in many ways, althogh they are also quite different. There are many similarities. They were both held in the same time period. The accusors were both girls who were also trying to cover up their own criminal acts. In both it was the black men who were being accused, and the prejudice juries who sentenced them to death because of color. In both, the men being accused were innocent. However, there are also many differences. In the Scottboro case, there were 9 men instead of one, it happened (actually did not happen) in a train car instead of a house. The 9 boys were eventually freed, where Tom was killed during an escape attempt. The Scottsboro case had a lot of trials, where Tom only had one.
The Scottsboro Boys