The Scottsboro Boys

Judge:

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 phrase that translates to this in English “Let justice be done though the heavens may fall.”

Sponsors:

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 the 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.

 

Event/News:

Timeline:

1931

March 26: A lynch mob of over one hundred people gathers 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

1932

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

1933

May 7: March on Washington D.C. to protest the Scottsboro Trials

January: A New York Lawyer Samuel S. Leibowitz is called in by ILD to handle the case

  • story of Victoria Price and Dr. R. Bridges
  • in one of the later Leibowitz was able to prove that the girls showed no physical trauma of being raped
  • Afraid of being arrested for violation of Mann Act crossing state lines for immoral purposes
  • Kelby Prison account inmate being put in death chair, Moved to Decatur Scary Prison “unfit for white prisoner”

1935

February 15: Leibowitz argues to the U.S. Supreme Court that black citizens were excluded from the jury.

April 1: U.S. Supreme Court finds that under the 14 Amendment that excluding Blacks from the jury violates equal protection under the law; the Norris and Patterson cases are overturned.

 

1936

January 23: Haywood Patterson convicted for the fourth time of the rape, but instead of getting the death penalty he is given 75 years; this is the first time in the History of Alabama that a Black person has not been given the death penalty for the rape of white women.

January 24: Ozie Powell attacks police while being transported, is shot in the head, but lives; mentality challenged for the rest of his life.

 

1937

July: Clarence Norris convicted of rape, sentenced to death; Andy Wright convicted, sentenced to 99 years; Charlie Weems convicted, sentenced to 75 years; Ozie Powell pleads guilty to assaulting Sheriff Edgar Blalock, sentenced to 20 years; Roy Wright and Eugene charges dropped because of age at the time of the crime, and years already served in prison; Olen Montgomery and Willie Roberson charges dropped because the state no longer sees them as guilty

October 26: The Patterson and Norris conviction are refused to be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court

1938

August-November: Four remaining boys are not paroled by Governor Grieves because they upset him

1943

 September: Charlie Weems is paroled

1944

January: Norris and Andy Wright paroled

October: Norris Returned to Prison

1946

June: Ozie Powell paroled

1948

July: Haywood Patterson makes a prison break

1950-1951

Haywood Patterson is involved in a barroom fight ending with the death of another man, he is charged with murder.

Patterson is convicted of manslaughter and is sentenced to 6 to 15 years, but he dies of cancer almost a year later.