the scottsboro trials Essay

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The Scottsboro Trial Presentation Transcript
1. The Scottsboro Trial Travesty of Justice
2. The Event The case of the Scottsboro Boys arose in Scottsboro, Alabama during the 1930s Nine black youths, ranging in age from thirteen to twenty-one, accused of raping two white women, one of whom would later recant.
3. The Details March 25, 1931: Fight between a group of black men and a group of white men riding in a train. Nine black youths were arrested on charges of assault. Two young white women dressed in boys' clothing — Victoria Price, 21, and Ruby Bates, 17 — were also found catching a free ride on the freight train. All were taken to Scottsboro, the Jackson County seat. The two girls: unemployed mill workers and part-time prostitutes. Said they had been brutally raped by the nine blacks .
4. The Details Trial 12 days later Kept in cells just feet away from the electric chair chamber where they were made to hear and smell the electrocutions of the other members of death row. (later deemed cruel and unusual punishment) Milo Moody--a Tennessee lawyer unfamiliar with Alabama law, met with the boys for just 25 minutes before presenting case. Some accounts said that he was drunk for the duration of the trials.
5. The Details When called to testify, the boys began to blame and accuse each other , which made the case worse. Haywood Patterson and the other 8 defendants were found guilty of raping the two white girls.
6. The Details The case was overturned on appeal dues to lack of fair and adequate legal representation, and the retrial was moved from Scottsboro to Decatur, AL. A well known lawyer, Samuel Liebowitz, from New York, came to the defense of the boys pro-bono. The prosecuting lawyer was Thomas E. Knight, and Judge Edwin Horton presided.
7. The Details In the November 1932, re-trials Ruby Bates told the courts that she and Victoria Price had not been raped by the accused, explaining that the two had made up the story to avoid vagrancy charges (the prosecution accused her of being bought off by the Communist Party--which was supporting the defendants' case). Later in the trials, a witness who owned a farm near the railways came forward, claiming to have seen the alleged crime take place. When asked if he could identify what the two girls were wearing, he stated that they were both wearing dresses, despite the fact it had been earlier established that they were both wearing overalls in an attempt to pass as male.
8. The Details Medical examinations found the girls had no scarring indicating rape. In fact they were found to have engaged in consensual sex while traveling with the white men the night before. Nevertheless, all of the defendants…