Presentation on theme: "Mrs. Harbison Fall, 2010. Charles Weems - 19 Oldest of the boys Clean prison record, paroled in 1943 In prison, complained about being half-fed, spent."— Presentation transcript:
Mrs. Harbison Fall, 2010
Charles Weems - 19 Oldest of the boys Clean prison record, paroled in 1943 In prison, complained about being half-fed, spent a lot of time thinking about, “[T]he ladies out in the world and I’m shut in here.” Was tear-gassed and beaten in 1943 for reading Communist literature. The gassing caused permanent eye injuries. Contracted tuberculosis in Stabbed by a prison guard in 1938 who mistook Weems for the intended target – Andy Wright. Released in 1943 and moved to Atlanta where he married and took a job in a laundry.
Andy Wright - 19 Older brother of Roy Wright Frequently ill and depressed. Said to be mistrustful, a loner, and had a mean streak. Beaten by prison guards and other inmates, more than once severe enough to require hospitalization. First paroled in 1944, married a woman from Mobile later that year. Violated parole in 1946 by leaving Alabama. He was arrested and was in and out of prison for the next four years. He left prison for good on June 6, He was the last Scottsboro Boy to be freed.
Andy Wright - 19 Accused of raping a 13-year-old girl in Was acquitted by an all-white jury. Had been dating the girl’s mother and his accuser!
Roy Wright – 12 or 13 Youngest of the boys. Only had one trial. Ended in a mistrial when 11 jurors held out for death even though, in light of his age, the prosecution only asked for a life sentence. Testified at the first trials that he saw the other boys rape the white women. He later said he did so because he was threatened and severely beaten by authorities. Kept a bible with him at all times in jail – 6 years in jail without a retrial. He went for over a year without getting fresh air.
Roy Wright – 12 or 13 Alabama dropped all charges in Served in the Army, got married, and took a job with the Merchant Marine. Convinced that his wife cheated on him during an extended assignment at sea, shot and killed his wife and himself in 1959.
Ozie Powell - 16 Was not involved in the fight on the train, but said he witnessed it. IQ measured at 64-plus, and could only write his name. Incident with police shooting Survived but suffered permanent brain damage. He had trouble speaking and hearing, memory loss, and weakness in his right and left arm. Finally released from prison in June, He moved back to Georgia.
Olen Montgomery - 17 Severely nearsighted in both eyes and nearly blind in one. Was riding alone in a tank car near the rear of the train when the fight and alleged rape took place. Stuck consistently to his story, and by 1937 every prosecutor connected with the case agreed he was innocent. One of the four released in Bounced back and forth between New York and Georgia, drank heavily, rarely held a job for more than a few months. Sometime after 1960, he settled in Georgia for good.
Eugene Williams - 13 Admitted to fighting with the white boys on the train, but denied having seen Price or Bates until after his arrest. Life Magazine described him in 1937 as, “a sullen, shifty mulatto” who “tries to impress interviewers with his piety.” State dropped charges in July, 1937 citing his age at the time of the alleged incident.
Willie Roberson - 17 Suffering from a severe case of syphilis at time of alleged rape, with sores all over his genitals that would make intercourse very painful Unable to walk without a cane, so he was in no condition to lead from car to car as his accusers alleged. Price testified he held her legs apart while the other boys yelled, “Pour it to her!” Prosecutors used his condition against him, citing it for the reason Ruby Bates contracted syphilis in 1931
Willie Roberson - 17 Actually no where near the scene of the alleged rape, but was in fact alone in a boxcar near the caboose. Stuck to his story during every trial, and prosecutors finally came to believe him. Released in July, 1937, one of the four 6 years in prison were difficult: suffered from asthma and the lack of fresh air aggravated his condition.
Described as the hell-hole of all hell-holes Filled with sadistic and murderous inmates, guards, rampant homosexual rape, and venomous snakes
Haywood Patterson - 18 Illiterate when he entered prison, but was writing letters home, reading, and challenging guards to name a state he could not name the capital of, within 8 months. Spent 16 years in Alabama court rooms and prisons. Convicted and sentenced to death 4 times, finally received a 75 year sentence from his 4 th jury. Sent to Atmore where he was whipped several times, left without food for as long as a week at a time, kept in solitary confinement, and surrounded by so many poisonous snakes he tempted fate by draping them over his shoulders or putting them inside his shirt.
Haywood Patterson - 18 One time, a prison bookkeeper offered two inmates $50 each to kill him, but they warned him instead. Stabbed 20 times in February, 1941, puncturing his lungs, by an inmate paid by a guard to kill him. Forced to become an aggressive homosexual due to being deprived of normal sexual outlets, had his own “gal-boy” At Kilby he was responsible for carrying dead inmates out of the execution chamber. Managed two escapes.
Haywood Patterson - 18 First escape = 5 days of freedom before being returned to Atmore to face even harsher treatment from prison guards. Second escape = 3 years. Went to Detroit where his sister lived. During those 3 years he lived underground, during which time he wrote a book The Scottsboro Boy published in Arrested by the FBI shortly after, but Michigan Governor would not extradite him to Alabama after an intense letter-writing campaign.
Haywood Patterson - 18 Arrested in December 1950 in connection with a barroom fight. Charged with the murder of another man, claimed self-defense. First trial = hung jury Second trial = mistrial Third trial = manslaughter conviction. Died on August 24, 1952, less than a year after returning to prison. He died of cancer at 39 years old.
Clarence Norris - 17 Night before the first trial, he was removed from his cell. Beaten, and told to testify against the other boys if he wanted to save his own life. Second conviction overturned in landmark Norris vs. Alabama in which Alabama’s practice of excluding blacks from jury pools found to violate 14 th amendment. Convicted a third time and sentenced to death, but the governor commuted it to life in prison. Bitter over the four boys being released while he and the other four men were still in prison – believed he was paying the price for their freedom.
Clarence Norris - 17 Fought often in prison. One fight got him 10 days in the hole with only a blanket, bread, and water. Another got him a beating with a leather strap. First paroled in 1944, moved to New York in violation of his parole, returned to prison. Paroled a second time in Asked NAACP for help in the 1960’s to obtain a full pardon. Received full pardon in Died in Bronx Community Hospital on January 23, 1989, at the age of 76. He was the last of the Scottsboro Boys.