Scottsboro Boys

Sorry it took me so long to get this up here. I couldn’t get the pictures to paste in the box…Savanna B

Scottsboro Boys

-9 black teenage boys were accused of rape in Alabama in 1931.

-On March 25, 1931 several people were hoboing on a freight train between Chattanooga and Memphis, TN. There was a fight, several white boys jumped off the train and reported to the local sheriff they had been attacked by a group of black boys.

– The sheriff stopped and searched the train at Paint Rock, AL and arrested the boys. Meanwhile, two girls came forward and said they had been raped by the boys.

-The case was first heard in Scottsboro, AL.


-Ruby Bates and Victoria Price were the two girls who said the boys had raped her.

-The boys charged with rape were: Olen Montgomery (17), Clarence Norris (19), Haywood Patterson (18), Ozie Powell (16), Willie Roberson (16), Charlie Weems (16), Eugene Williams (13), Andy Wright (19) and Roy Wright (12).

-In the first trial, all but Roy Wright was convicted of rape and sentenced to death.

-A lynch mob gathered and tried to break the boys out of jail.


-Governor Benjamin Miller called in the National guard to protect the jail.

-The prisoners were brought to court by 118 guardsmen armed with machine guns.

-With help from the American Communist Party, the case was appealed.

-The Alabama Supreme Court affirmed 7 of the 8 convictions, but granted Eugene Williams a new trial because he was a juvenile at 13.

-Chief Justice John C. Anderson ruled the defendants had been denied an impartial jury, fair trial, fair sentencing, and effective counsel.

– The trial was then moved to Decatur, AL

-After an examination of Price, they found no vaginal tearing but there was semen inside her that had been there for several hours.

-Bates testified that there was no rape, that Victoria Price had told her to say those things because they didn’t want to be arrested for prostitution.

-The case was trialed three more times, charges were dropped for 4 defendants, the others were sentenced from 75 years in prison to death.

-All but 2 of the boys served prison sentences.

-Clarence Norris, the oldest defendant and the only one sentenced to death, escaped parole and went into hiding in 1946. He was pardoned by George Wallace in 1976 after he was found.

-The last surviving defendant died in 1989.

-There is now a marker in Scottsboro, AL commemorating the trial.


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