Scottsboro trial

(comparison to Tom R.'s trial)

Comparison to Tom Robinson's Case:

Tom Robinson was also accused of Rape, like the Scottsboro boys. Many people did not believe them because of their race, also. The girls in Scottsboro did it out of their lack of money also just like Mayella did. However, in the book, there is just one man (Tom) being acussed, whereas there is about 12 in Scottsboro. Also, Ruby and Victoria had very little 'rough handling' marks on their bodies, Mayella was very beat up. on page 223, mid-page, Mr. Heck Tate says, " Found her lying on the floor in the middle of the front room. She was pretty well beat up..." whereas in Scottsboro, it says, "but that there were no lacerations, tears, or other signs of rough handling..."

The story provided by the girls:

2 girls, Ruby and Victoria, were riding a train with 7 other white boys. On the way there, about 12 African-American boys came onto the train and forced all but 1 of the white boys get off. 6 of the African Americans raped Victoria, 6 raped Ruby.

During Court:

Lots of people gathered for the trial. One woman claimed, "It was a curious, not furious crowd." The judge said that neither girls had any serious signs of 'rough handling' other than a scratch and a bruise on one of the girls. The first case, they had decided the death penalty (as well with the 2nd). The 3rd day, they had a little bit of trouble deciding. One of the boys was claimed to be too sick to have done any harm. After a while, the jury could not decide a verdict. 11 of the boys were sentenced for death, the other for a lifetime in jail. They later decided that the other 8 boys (from the 3rd case) and the youngest boy (from the 4th case) would just have life imprisonment.

Pictures of the Scottsboro boys:

More info...

Why all this happened:

The girls made the charge for the obvious reason of money. The girls did not like the poor working conditions and low wages they were receiving. The girls were having to cut their work hours, causing even less income. Many mill workers (ask Ruby and Victoria were) turned to prostitution for money. It was easy for the girls to take advantage of the Scottsboro boys because of their race, knowing the jury wouldn't like them from the beginning.