Chronology of Events | Scottsborro Documents
Defense attorney Samuel Leibowitz (far left) and seven of the Scottsboro Defendants in 1933. Photo courstesy of AP/Wide World Photos
MAJOR FIGURES IN THE SCOTTSBORO CASE
Defendants: Charley Weems, Clarence Norris, Haywood Patterson, Andy Wright,Willie Roberson, Eugene Williams, Ozie Powell, Olen Montgomery,and Roy Wright. Accusers: Victoria Price and, at first, Ruby Bates Chief Defense Attorney: Samuel Leibowitz. Prosecuting Attorney: Thomas Knight, Jr. Judges: A. E. Hawkins (spring of 1931), James E. Horton (spring of 1933), William W. Callahan (winter of 1933/34). Chief Witnesses other than the accusers and defendants: Jack Tiller, friend of Price and Bates; Lester Carter, friend of Price and Bates; Dr. R. R. Bridges, examining physician.
CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS
March 25, 1931 Arrest of nine Scottsboro "boys." April 6-9, 1931 First trials in Scottsboro, Alabama. Appeals begin and continue for a year and a half. November 7, 1932 United States Supreme Court orders new trials. March 27, 1933 Second trials begin. April 9, 1933 Patterson found guilty and sentenced to death in June. June 22, 1933 Judge Horton overturns guilty verdict. Nov./Dec.1933 Clarence Norris is tried, found guilty, and sentenced to death. Appeals continue for two years while he remains on death row. April 1, 1935 U.S. Supreme Court reverses the convictions of Patterson and Norris. May 1, 1935 Another round of trials begins and Patterson is given a 75-year sentence. July 26, 1937 Charges against four men are dropped. 1940s All but one escape or are paroled. June 9, 1950 The last Scottsboro defendant is released from prison. October 25, 1976 Clarence Norris is pardoned.
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The rest of this chapter presents excerpts from key documents relating to the Scottsboro trials. The document excerpts are described as follows:
April 6, 1931. The testimony of Victoria Price and Dr. R. R. Bridges in the trial of Charley Weems and Clarence Norris for rape on March 25, 1931. March 27, 1933. Judge James E. Horton's address from the bench before the second trials had gotten under way. This was in response to threats of jury tampering and mob action. April 4, 1933. Excerpt from a New York Times article chiefly about the testimony of the accuser, Victoria Price, and Dr. R. R. Bridges, who examined both women. April 7, 1933. Excerpt from official court transcript of the testimony of Ruby Bates, one of the original accusers. April 17, 1933. Excerpts from the official court transcript in the retrial of Charley Weems, of the testimony of Lester Carter, a one-time companion of the two women who brought the charges. June 22, 1933. Excerpt from the written decision of Judge James E. Horton overturning the jury's guilty verdict and ordering a new trial. December 2, 1933. Excerpt from the retrial of Clarence Norris before Judge Horton's replacement, judge William Callahan. This is chiefly the testimony of accuser Victoria Price and a deposition from former accuser Ruby Bates. April 1, 1935. Excerpts from the United States Supreme Court decision reversing the convictions of Patterson and Norris on the grounds that African-Americans were being excluded from serving on juries.
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Johnson, Claudia Durst. Understanding To Kill A Mockingbird. The Greenwood Publishing, Inc. Wesport, CT:©1994.
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