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In Commemoration of The Scottsboro Boys

Updated: May 13, 2019

The Scottsboro Boys were nine African American teenagers, ages 13 to 20, falsely accused in Alabama of raping two white women on a train in 1931.

The landmark set of legal cases from this incident dealt with racism and the right to a fair trial.

In 1936, Haywood Patterson was convicted of rape and sentenced to 75 years in prison. He escaped in 1949 and in 1950 was found in Michigan, but the governor refused to extradite him. In 1951 he was convicted of an assault and sentenced to prison, where he died of cancer in 1952.

In 1936, Ozie Powell was involved in an altercation with a guard and shot in the face, suffering permanent brain damage. In 1937 He pleaded guilty to assault, and the rape charges were dropped. He was paroled in 1946.

1937, Charlie Weems was convicted and sentenced to 105 years. He was paroled in 1943 after having been held in prison for a total of 12 years in some of Alabama's worst institutions.