The Scottsboro Boys. By Danielle Frederickson, Brian Kilmer, Zach Numssen, and Dan Poll. Who were the Scottsboro boys?. The Scottsboro boys were a group of nine black teenagers who were suspected of raping two white girls on a Southern Railroad freight train in 1931. The First Trial.
By Danielle Frederickson, Brian Kilmer, Zach Numssen, and Dan Poll
Who were the Scottsboro boys? The Scottsboro boys were a group of nine black teenagers who were suspected of raping two white girls on a Southern Railroad freight train in 1931.
The First Trial The original trial was in Scottsboro, Alabama, which probably negatively affected the outcome of the trial because in the state of Alabama, blacks were not treated equally.
The NAACP and the Scottsboro Trials The NAACP, or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, did not help the Scottsboro boys because they were worried about their image being reduced should some of them be found guilty.
Communism and the Case The communist party in the south wasn’t very popular. It was said that they were "treated with only slightly more courtesy than a gang of rapists.“ The reason party took the case was for recruiting purposes. They wanted to gain support from the southern African Americans and liberals from the North. The communists came to the conclusion that the Scottsboro Boys were most likely innocent, and primary leadership in the case would lead to large benefits.
Defensive Attorneys Milo Moody was a 70 year old who had a bad memory, and hadn’t covered a case in over 15 years. The boys’ defense attorneys were not the best. Stephen Roddy, was a real estate attorney. He was unprepared for the case he had to cover. Also, on the first day of the trial, he was so drunk that he could barely walk straight Another strike against the lawyers was that they had only called the 9 boys as witnesses to the stand. The attorneys also were willing have the boys tried together, instead of separately, which would cause more prejudice
The trials On April 6th, the nine negroes were brought from Gadsden and locked in the county jail at Scottsboro until the hour of their trial. The trials were not particularly fair for several reasons. The defense attorneys that the men received were inexperienced. One was Milo Mooney who admitted to not having defended a case in decades. Furthermore the trials were short. The first lasted only a day and a half, the rest one right after the other in just one day. Lastly, the Supreme Court later said “"the proceedings ... took place in an atmosphere of tense, hostile, and excited public sentiment."
Pardons From the Trials The governor of Alabama wanted to give the Scottsboro boys a pardon before he had left office. The case had haunted Alabama for so long, and he wanted to end it. He wanted to have an interview with the five remaining boys before he let them go, but the interviews didn’t go as planned. The first boy, Haywood Patterson was found carrying a knife into the interview. He claimed that it was just for his own protection, but the guards assumed that it would be used for the worst. The second, refused to talk to the Governor at all. None of the Scottsboro boys admitted to anything about the rape crime, so he had left office without granting any pardons.
The Scottsboro Boys and To Kill a Mockingbird. Considering that the author of To Kill a Mockingbird was born in the deep south at a time when prejudice and racism ran rampant, and the Scottsboro boys were largely on trial because of their race, it is safe to presume that race and racism will play a large part in the novel.