Police Brutality In The 1930's

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1930-1950 Over the years the face of police brutality has changed. The face of police brutality in the early 1900’s is different than what you would think of as police brutality in today’s society. Part of this change is due to the credibility of a black person’s testimony in the eyes of the law. In the 1930’s black people technically the same rights as their white counterparts but were not treated in the same way. Without the technology of the 21st century a conviction was often based off of the testimony of a white police officer or white bystander. This led to a large number of black people being arrested for crimes they never committed. Pre-civil rights movement police brutality was unfair trials and false witnesses because of the change…show more content…
In March of 1931 nine black boys were riding a train in Tennessee. A group of white boys who had also been on the train got off and told the police that the boys on the train had raped two white girls. When questioned the girls also said that they had been raped and all nine boys were arrested. Unlike Leonard Basey the Scottsboro Boys were given a trial. While they were given a trial it was definitely not a fair one. The boys received bad legal representation, rushed trials, and all-white juries. The first time the boys were tried in court all but one of them was found guilty and sentenced to death. At the time a death sentence was a common punishment given to black men for any crime. Eight of the nine boys were sentenced to death even after medical evidence had proved that they had not raped the women on the train. The case was then appealed and retried for the Alabama Supreme Court. This trial resulted in seven of the eight boys being convicted again with one boy being let off because he was younger. This trial, Powell v. Alabama, shaped the way juries are selected since the Scottsboro Boys had originally been given a biased jury. The case was then sent back down to lower courts in Alabama to go on trial again. This time around one of the alleged rape victims admitted to lying about the rape; she said that the boys had not touched either of the white girls. Even with this confession seven of the seven boys on trial were found guilty. The final time the boys were tried four of the nine boys were convicted and given sentences ranging from 75 years in prison to

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