The Scotstsboro Trials

  • Period: to

    The Scottsboro Ordeal

  • The fight

    The fight
    A fight breaks out between groups of young black and white passengers riding a freight train. The wite boys were forced off of the train. The Boys called ahead to the next stop telling police to apprehend the black boys. When the train stopped just outside Paint Rock, they black youths were greated by local police and a mob. Nine black youths ranging in age from 13 to 20. The police also questioned two white women who were illegaly riding the train, and said the blacks raped them.
  • First of the four initial trials (April 6-7)

    First of the four initial trials (April 6-7)
    Before Judge A. E. Hawkins, Clarence Norris and Charlie Weems are tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.
  • Second of the four initial trials

    Second of the four initial trials
    Before Judge A. E. Hawkins, Clarence Norris and Charlie Weems are tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.
  • Third of four trials (April 8-9

    Third of four trials (April 8-9
    Before Judge A. E. Hawkins, Olen Montgomery, Ozie Powell, Willie Roberson, Eugene Williams, and Andy Wright are tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.
  • Final of Four trials

    Final of Four trials
    The trial For Roy Wright (who was 13 at the time) ends in a mistrial, due to the fact that 11 out of 13 jurors want the death penalty, while one just wanted life in prission.
  • Period: to

    Civil rights attention to the case

    Progressive national organizations take up the Scottsboro case and call for the country to reject the Alabama frame-up. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the International Labor Defense (I.L.D.) court the defendants, their parents, and public opinion for the right to represent the young men in an appeal, and raise money for their defense.
  • Stay of excecution is granted

    The executions of the defendants are stayed pending appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.
  • Withdrawl of the NAACP

    The  National Association for the Advancement of Colored People walks away from the case, leaving the fate of the Scottsboro nine in tha hands of the International Labor Defense
  • Next court decision

    Next court decision
    In a decision of 6-1, the Supreme Court of Alabama upholds the decision of the trial judge
  • Supreme court gets involved

    Supreme court gets involved
    The United States Supreme Court agrees to hear the case.
  • United States Supreme Court Makes decision

    United States Supreme Court Makes decision
    In Powell v. Alabama, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the defendants were denied the right to counsel. The court orders new trials.
  • International Labor Defense (I.L.D.)

    International Labor Defense (I.L.D.)
    International Labor Defense (I.L.D.) asks well known american lawer Samuel Leibowitz to take the case
  • Patterson trial

    Patterson trial
    Patterson is found guilty and sentenced to death
  • Alabama Supreme Court

    Alabama Supreme Court
    unanimously denies the request for a new set of trials
  • Bribery

    Bribery
    Two lawyers that have links with the I.L.D are caught with nearly $1, 500 trying to bribe Victoria Price (one of the girls who claimed that the nine had raped the girls) to changer her testimony
  • Supreme Court

    Supreme Court
    The case is back in the Supreme Court again, this time because the jurry was composed of only white members
  • United States Supreme Court

    United States Supreme Court
    In Norris v. Alabama, the United States Supreme Court finds the exclusion of blacks on jury rolls deprived black defendants of their rights to equal protection under the law
  • Scottsboro Defense Committee

    The Scottsboro Defense Committee (SDC) is formed
  • Escape attempt

    Escape attempt
    While being transported Ozie Powell pulls a knife and slashes a Deputy throat. The sherrif stops the car, and shoots Ozie Powell in the head. Everybody survives.
  • Guilty...Again

    Guilty...Again
    Patterson is found guilty and sentenced to 75 years in prison
  • Negotiations

    Negotiations
    Prosecuting attorney Lieutenant Governor Thomas Knight meets the defence council in New York to negotiate a compromise
  • Alabama Supreme Court once again

    Alabama Supreme Court  once again
    Alabama Supreme Court upholds Patterson's conviction
  • The third trial of Clarence Norris

    The third trial of Clarence Norris
    The third trial of Clarence Norris ends in a death sentence
  • The trial of Andy Wright

    The trial of Andy Wright
    The trial of Andy Wright ends in conviction and a sentence of 99 years.
  • Trial of Charley Weems

    Trial of Charley Weems
    The trial of Charley Weems ends in conviction and a sentence of 75 years
  • More charges

    More charges
    Ozie Powell pleads guilty to assaulting Blalock and is sentenced to 20 years in prisson. The rape charges against him are dropped
  • More charges dropped

    More charges dropped
    Rape charges against the last four defendants, Olen Montgomery, Willie Roberson, Eugene Williams, and Roy Wright, are dropped
  • US Supreme Court

    US Supreme Court
    The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear the appeal of Haywood Patterson
  • Alabama Governor

    Governor Bibb Graves meets with Allan Knight Chalmers to discuss granting a pardon to the five convicted Scottsboro defendants.
  • Alabama Supreme Court

    The Alabama Supreme Court affirms the sentences given Norris, Andy Wright and Weems
  • Governor Graves

    Governor Graves commutes Norris's death sentence to life imprisonment
  • Governor Graves

    Governor Graves meets with the convicted Scottsboro defendants in his office to consider parole
  • Governor Graves

    Governor Graves meets with the convicted Scottsboro defendants in his office to consider parole
  • Governor Graves denies the pardon

    Governor Graves denies the pardon applications of all five Scottsboro defendants
  • Parole

    Andy Wright and Clarence Norris are released on parole
  • Violation of parole

    Wright and Norris leave Alabama, in violation of their parole. Chalmers persuades them to return to the South and, despite promises to be lenient, both are returned to jail, Norris in October 1944, Wright in October 1946
  • Patterson

    Patterson dies of cancer
  • Roy Wright

    Roy Wright dies
  • Pardoned

    Clarence Norris is pardoned
  • The legacy ends

    Clarence Norris, the last of the Scottsboro Boys, dies