Lynching Laws/ Scottsboro Trials

By, Shelby, Cece, Belmando

Main Idea of the Case

The Scottsboro Case was a major U.S civil rights controversy of the 1930's surrounding the prosecution in Scottsboro, Alabama, of nine black youths charged with the rape of two white women. After nearly being lynched, they were brought to trial in Scottsboro in April 1931, just three weeks after their arrests.

The Verdict

Despite testimony by doctors who had examined the women that no rape had occurred, the all-white jury convicted the nine, and all but the youngest, who was 12 years old, were sentenced to death. The announcement of the verdict brought a storm of charges from outside the South that a gross miscarriage of justice had occurred in Scottsboro.
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The Aftermath

In 1932 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the convictions (Powell v. Alabama) on the grounds that the defendants had not received adequate legal counsel in a capital case. The state of Alabama then retried one of the accused and again convicted him. In a 1935 decision (Norris v. Alabama), the U.S. Supreme Court overturned this conviction, ruling that the state had systematically excluded blacks from juries.


Picture 1- The Scottsboro Boys in jail, 1931 . Fine Art. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 8 Oct 2015.

Picture 2- Scottsboro Boys: protest advertisement. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>

Picture 3- "Trial of the Scottsboro Boys." The African-American Experience. Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source Media, 1999. American Journey. Student Resources in Context. Web. 8 Oct. 2015

Text- "Scottsboro." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2015. Web. 8 Oct. 2015. <>.