Presentation on theme: "Scottsboro Trial By: Kyle Esty. Scottsboro Trial Background The Scottsboro Trial was a trial involving nine African American teenage boys accused of raping."— Presentation transcript:
Scottsboro Trial Background The Scottsboro Trial was a trial involving nine African American teenage boys accused of raping two white teenage girls. They were arrested on March 24, 1931 The names of the nine boys were, Olen Montgomery (age 17), Clarence Norris (age 19), Haywood Patterson (age 18), Ozie Powell (age 16), Willie Roberson (age 16), Charlie Weems (age 16), Eugene Williams (age 13), Andy Williams (age 19), and Roy Wright (age 12 or 13) The two white girls were, Ruby Bates (age 17) and Victoria Price (age 21)
To Kill A Mockingbird Trial The trial in To Kill A Mockingbird is similar to the case in the Scottsboro trial. The black man accused of raping a white woman was Tom Robinson (age 25). The woman was Mayella Ewell (age 19). The apparent incident occurred on November 21 st.
What happens to Tom? Tom is found guilty of the crime and is sent to prison. Tom later tries to escape from prison and is shot 17 times by the prison guards. The reason why Tom tried to escape is because he thought he had no chance of not getting put in the electric chair (which is the penalty of rape).
What happens to the Scottsboro Boys? Of the nine boys, eight of them were sentenced to death by electric chair. They instead got put in prison.
What Happens After The Scottsboro Trial? Charles Weems developed permanent eye injuries after being tear gassed in prison, he then contracted tuberculosis in 1937. He was released from prison in 1943 due to a clean prison record and moved to Atlanta took a job in laundry. Clarence Norris was sentenced to prison time. He liked to fight in prison and got put in the hole with just a blanket, bread and water. He was paroled twice and later moved to New York and shovelled coal for three years, he then took up a job as a dishwasher. He died in 1989 at the age of 76. Andy Wright was sentenced to prison time and was later paroled in 1944. He took a job driving a delivery truck which he held for two years. Andy left Alabama in a violation of his parole in 1946, was arrested, and was in and out of prison for 4 years. Andy was free in 1950. He then moved to New York and was accused of raping a thirteen year old girl but the charges were viewed as false.
Ozie Powell was not involved in the train fight (which occurred before the boys were arrested for rape). In February of 1936, after testifying at Haywood Patterson's fourth trial, Powell was loaded into a car with Clarence Norris and Roy Wright. The three were handcuffed together in the backseat, while a sheriff and his deputy rode in front. Powell and the deputy got into an argument. The deputy hit Powell on his head. With his one free hand, Powell took a pen knife that had escaped detection during a search out of his pants and slashed the deputy's throat, wounding him. The sheriff stopped the car, got out, and fired a bullet at Powell (who, along with the others, had his hands in the air) which lodged in his brain. Powell survived but suffered permanent brain damage. He was released from prison in 1946. He then moved to Georgia. Olen Montgomery, seventeen at the time of his arrest, was born in Monroe, Georgia, where he attended school through the fifth grade. Montgomery was riding alone in a tank car near the rear of the train when the fight and alleged rape took place on the Chattanooga to Memphis freight. Montgomery stuck consistently to his story, and by 1937 every prosecutor connected with the Scottsboro cases agreed Montgomery was innocent. Montgomery was one of four Scottsboro Boys released in July, 1937. He bounced between living in New York and Georgia. He was a heavy drinker and rarely holding a job for more than a month. He settled in Georgia in the 1960’s. Eugene Williams was thirteen when arrested along with his friends the Wright brothers and Haywood Patterson in March, 1931. Prior to boarding the Southern Railroad freight, Williams had worked as a dishwasher in a Chattanooga cafe. At trial, Williams admitted that he fought with white boys on the train. Eugene had charges dropped on him in 1937, citing his youth at the time of the incident, he later moved to St. Louis.
Willie Roberson was one of the boys accused of raping Ruby Bates, but Willie had a serious case of syphilis, with sores all over his genitals, that would have made intercourse very painful. Moreover, Roberson was unable to walk without a cane, and clearly was in in no condition to leap from railroad car to railroad car, as his accusers alleged. Willie suffered from asthma while in jail and even developed prison neurosis stating that if he was not freed he wanted the electric chair to get out of his misery. He was released in 1937 and moved to New York City. Roy Wright was let off mainly due to his age and because he testified that he did see the other boys rape the girls (because he was beaten until he said he would). During his time in jail he kept a bible on him at all times to keep his faith. After being released in 1937 he married and joined the military. After returning home from war he feared his wife was unfaithful so he shot her then killed himself. Haywood Patterson was said to be the most guilty and defiant of the Scottsboro boys. He was in jail for a long time because he would fight, murder and rape men in jail with him. He escaped in 1943 but was caught five days later. He escaped again in 1947 and managed to make his way up to his sisters place in Detroit. His sister later persuaded him to write a book about the trial which the FBI saw and took him into custody. He later went to a prison in Michigan where he would die from cancer.
Toms Living Conditions In Jail The book doesn’t go into great detail on what it was like for Tom in prison. By looking at what the prisons were like back then we can guess he was likely beaten, starved, raped, threatened and put in the solitary room. This is likely the reason Harper decided to make it so that he tries to escape prison and dies.
Similarities Between the Two Trials The two trials involve the accusations of African American men raping white woman. In both cases the truth is that they didn’t rape the white women but were still “proven” guilty. Both cases took place in the 1930’s back when the justice system was against African American’s as they were considered trash. Both of the cases caused a lot of controversy especially among white people.
Differences Between The Trials The Scottsboro boys were released from prison. Tom doesn’t ever leave prison as he dies in the prison yard. There was said to be two girls raped in the Scottsboro boys trial while only one was said to be raped in Toms case. In Toms trial, both black and white people attended opposed to the Scottsboro boys trial which was only attended by white men.