1930's Research Project

The Scottsboro Boys and Tom Robinson's Trial

Question 1: What were the Scottsboro boys on trial for? Did they actually commit this crime or not? How do you know?

The nine Scottsboro boys were on trial for gang raping Victoria Price and Ruby Bates on a train. The Scottsboro boys did not actually commit this crime. There are several things that make you believe this, first off two of the boys were not physically able to commit this crime. The second is that the two women were not upset, bruised, or bleeding when examined by the physician shortly after the accused gang rape. The last reason is that Ruby Bates said that there was no rape and none of the defendants touched or talked to her during her testimony.

Question 2: Describe Alabama's, including the jury's, reaction to the boys and the trial.

Both Alabama and the jury's reaction to the Scottsboro boys was shocked at what they did, even though they really did not commit the crime. Most of Alabama and the jury's reaction to the trial was that the Scottsboro boys were guilty. The people of Alabama and on the jury thought the Scottsboro boys were guilty just because they were colored and people accusing them were white. Just because of that one fact the Scottsboro boys were considered guilty, because in the 1930's Alabama was very segregated and it was thought that all colored people were not trustworthy.

Question 3: How is this trial similar to Tom Robinson's trial? How is it different?

One thing about this trial that is similar to Tom Robinson's trial is that Atticus and real life lawyer James E. Horton both defended black men in a very segregated city and time period. Another similarity is that both accusers were very poor white women who had secrets that the charges of rape were intended to cover up and both of them were accusing black men of rape. One difference between the two trials is that the Scottsboro trial included nine black mean when Tom Robinson's trial only included himself. Another difference is that the Scottsboro trial included a physician's report and Tom Robinson's trial did not include a physician's report and a physician was never called for Mayella Ewell.

Video about the beginning of the Scottsboro Boys:

The Scottsboro Boys Trials Part 1 Way before the Civil Rights Movement 1931 to 1937.avi