What Was The Initial Trial Of The Scottsboro Boys

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The fourteenth amendment to the Constitution, ending slavery in the United States, had been in effect since before the turn of the century, yet African Americans still faced prejudice in many parts of the country, especially the South. In March 1931, nine black teenagers were arrested in Alabama and accused of homelessness, disorder, and, later, rape, after two white women testified against them. The series of trials, testimonies, and decisions that followed all contained core similarities, but differentiated greatly from each other overall. The initial trial, held in 1931, served only to show the predetermined prejudice against the Scottsboro boys because of the color of their skin. Although it would affect the younger members of the group, their incompetent lawyers were willing for the court to try all of the boys together. The two white women who accused them of rape, Victoria Price and Ruby Bates, were questioned quickly before the all-white Alabama Jury …show more content…

During the second trial of Haywood Patterson in March 1933, Victoria Price was again questioned as a witness, but her testimony was slightly different than in the original trial; she reacted to the questioning and accusations against her with “angry defiance” (1). Price’s testimony was further weakened after Ruby Bates testified. She denied that any of the Scottsboro boys had attacked or raped them at all, explaining that Price told her to make up a story to avoid charges being put against them (7). However, her testimony was not considered by the jury, and Patterson was sentenced to death, like in the original trial. In June 1933, a few months after Patterson’s second trial, Judge James Horton ordered a new trial for the case. His reasoning was that Victoria Price’s testimony was “contradictory” and that there was reason to believe that she “knowingly testified falsely” (3). Patterson’s next trial was scheduled for that

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