Scottsboro Trials by 6pKUar2

VIEWS: 27 PAGES: 13

									Scottsboro Trials
        The Accusers…
• Victoria Price:
  – lower class white woman, age 21
  – An active prostitute who liked to
    drink; daughter of a widow who
    lived in a racially mixed section of
    town, worked at the mill, seen
    having intercourse in public
    places
  – Good on the stand, hostile, but
    made graphic allusion to the
    events that she claimed
    occurred.
      Ruby Bates
• Lower class girl, familial
  problems, “played, lived and
  slept with blacks”
• Described as a very active
  prostitute
• Poor witness on the stand
• Retracted her initial testimony
  and claimed that Victoria
  encouraged her lie so as to not
  get in trouble for violating the
  Mann Act, crossing state lines
  for immoral reasons, like sex.
• Eventually campaigned for the
  released of the SB
         Accusers and the Accused
      White Women                        Black Men
• Victoria Price                   •   Haywood Patterson
• Ruby Bates                       •   Charles Weems
                                   •   Clarence Norris
                                   •   Andy Wright
                                   •   Ozzie Powell
• "The whole damnable thing
  was a frame-up of two            •   Olen Montgomery
  irresponsible women."            •   Eugene Williams
   --Samuel Leibowitz addressing
                                   •   Willie Roberson
  the jury                         •   Roy Wright, age 12
                  On the train…
• A fight broke out between some of the Scottsboro boys
  and several white boys who were in the same car. A
  white boy stepped on a black boy’s hand.
• The white boys reported a gang attack. The train
  stopped. All the black youths that were found were
  captured.
• Everyone was traveling to look for work, including 2
  white women, who for unknown reasons claimed to
  have been gang raped by a group of black men.
• Trials for the Scottsboro 9, all of the African Americans
  rounded up after the fight, began 12 days later.
                     1931- 1932
• 9 African American youths were accused of and charged
  with raping 2 white women on a train passing through a
  very small town in Alabama.
• 8 of the 9 were found guilty and sentenced to death or 75-
  99 years in prison.
• Executions were stayed pending the appeals process
• The NAACP tried to get the right to defend the boys in
  spring of 1931 but withdraws from the case in 1932.
• Ruby Bates, in a letter to her boyfriend, denies being raped.
• Alabama supreme court affirms the convictions of 7 of the
  8 boys
• U.S. Supreme Court announces it will review the case and
  eventually reverses the convictions
                 1933-1938
• Protests occur around the nation
• Mistrials and retrials, convictions and over-
  rulings, reductions, parole granted, parole
  denied, etc., for 7-8 years.
• Example: Haywood Patterson is convicted for
  the 4th time; Ozzie is shot in the head while
  attacking an officer.
              In the media…
• ALL NEGROES POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED BY GIRLS AND
  ONE WHITE BOY WHO WAS HELD PRISONER WITH
  PISTOL AND KNIVES WHILE NINE BLACK FIENDS
  COMMITTED REVOLTING CRIME
• THE STATE’S CASE WAS DESCRIBED AS “SO
  CONCLUSIVE AS TO BE ALMOST PERFECT”…AFTER
  BRIBERY, VIOLENCE, CORRUPTION, CIRCUMSTANTIAL
  EVIDENCE.
• ROOSEVELT IS ASKED TO INTERVENE TO
  PROTECT SCOTTSBORO NEGROES (NYT 1933)
People line up for one of the many trials.
The all white/all male jury for one of the trials
Spectators in the court room…what do you notice?
             Quotes from the trial
• "I saw all of them have intercourse; I saw all that with my own
  eyes." --Roy Wright, age 13, testifying in the 1st trial

• "I was sitting in a chair and one of those girls was
  testifying. One of the deputy sheriffs leaned over to me and
  asked if I was going to turn state's evidence, and I said no,
  because I didn't know anything about this case. Then the trial
  stopped awhile and the deputy sheriff beckoned to me to
  come out into another room-- the room back of the place
  where the judge was sitting-- and I went. They whipped me
  and it seemed like they were going to kill me. All the time
  they kept saying, "Now will you tell?" and finally it seemed to
  me like I couldn't stand it no more and I said yes." --Roy
  Wright (NY Times, 3/10/33)

• "I was scared before, but it wasn't nothing to how I felt
  now. I knew if a white woman accused a black man of rape,
  he was as good as dead." --Clarence Norris
               Works Cited
• www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FTrials/sc
  ottsboro/SB_acct.html
• http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/FT
  rials/scottsboro/scottsb.htm

								
To top