The Scottsboro Boys

Defense Attorney:

Samuel Leibowitz- The Main Defense Attorney for the boys, was a New York criminal attorney who had secured a record of 77 acquittals and one hung jury in 78 murder trials.


Judge James Horton-judge that is seen through most of the case, but it put off by the Alabama Supreme Court when he suspends the death sentence for Haywood Patterson, and calls for a new trial. He lost re-election the next year, but said in Latin a phrases that translates to this in English “Let justice be done though the heavens may fall.”


International Labor Defense (ILD)

-The International Labor Defense (ILD) was a legal defense organization in the United States, headed by William L. Patterson. It was a US section of International Red Aid organization, and associated with the Communist Party USA.

-It was formed in 1925, and in 1946 merged with the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties to form the Civil Rights Congress.

-National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)-

-Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization.

-The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.




March 26: A lynch mob of over one hundred people gather around Scottsboro’s Jail, the National Guard is called by Alabama’s Governor, B.M. Miller.

March 30: All-white jury indicts the “Scottsboro Boys” of rape. The boys are not allowed contact with friends or family, and do not get to consult an attorney. The boys plea “not guilty.”

April 6: The trials begin

April-December: NAACP and International Labor Defense (ILD) fight over who will handle the appeal, the boys choose ILD


November 7: Powell vs. Alabama, U.S. Supreme Court reverses convictions, on the behalf that the defendants were not allowed the right to counsel; this also violated their right to due process granted to them by the 14th Amendment.

  • Bates story to tell the truth after talking to a minister