The Trials

  • The Incident

    The Incident
    The nine boys are arrested in Paint Rock Alabama for a supposed train fight with some white male youths. Soon after Victoria Price and Ruby Bates accused them of rape as well.
  • Indictment

    Indictment
    A grand jury indicts the nine boys for rape. The crowd outside the courthouse here and when the trials started hit numbers in the hundreds, and armed forces escorted the boys to and from the courthouses.
  • The Beginning of the Trials

    The Beginning of the Trials
    The trials of the boys begin before Judge A. E. Hawkins. They recieve two under-qualified lawyers who have no experience with the justice system of Alabama.
  • Sentences

    Sentences
    Eight of the nine boys are sentenced to death by all-white juries, with Roy Wright being sentenced to life in jail.
  • Executions are Delayed

    Executions are Delayed
    The executions are delayed after the boys appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.
  • NAACP withdraws from case

    NAACP withdraws from case
    The NAACP withdraws from the Scottsboro Boys case. While the NAACP is an advocate for black rights, they fear that the nine youths are guilty. If that is true, then the NAACP looks bad, so they decide to withdraw.
  • Supreme Court will get involved

    Supreme Court will get involved
    The Supreme Court announces that it will review the case of the nine black youths after the youths appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.
  • Powell v. Alabama

    Powell v. Alabama
    Convictions of the boys are reversed after it is determined that they were denied due process under the Fourteenth Amendment as a result of the inabilities of their lawyers. This landmark decision reaffrirmed the Fourteenth Amendment and discredited the way justice was given to blacks in the South at that time.
  • Haywood Patterson's Second Trial

    Haywood Patterson's Second Trial
    The second trial of Haywood Patterson begins before Judge James Horton.
  • Haywood Patterson Guilty

    Haywood Patterson Guilty
    Haywood Patterson is found guilty and sentenced to death.
  • Retrial Ordered

    Retrial Ordered
    Judge Horton orders a retrial due to the jury's blatant ignorance of evidence that strongly indicated the innocence of Patterson.
  • Judge Callahan Takes Over

    Judge Callahan Takes Over
    In the retrial of Patterson and the trials of the rest of the boys, Judge William Callahan is granted jurisdiction, he in known for being racially biased against blacks.
  • Patterson and Norris Convicted

    Patterson and Norris Convicted
    Haywood Patterson and Clarence Norris are tried for rape, convicted, and given the death sentence.
  • Norris v. Alabama

    Norris v. Alabama
    The U.S. Supreme Court overturns the convictions of Patterson and Norris because African Americans were excluded from sitting on the jury. This decision ruled the system of jury selection in Alabama unconstitutional.
  • Patterson Convicted for Fourth Time

    Patterson Convicted for Fourth Time
    Haywood Patterson is convicted of rape for the fourth time and is sentenced to 75 years in prison. This marked the first time in Alabama history that a black man convicted of raping a white woman did not recieve a death sentence.
  • Conviction of Patterson Upheld

    Conviction of Patterson Upheld
    The Alabama Supreme Court upholds the conviction of Haywood Patterson. Patterson had been convicted for the fourth time in January of 1936 and was sentenced to 75 years in prison.
  • "Four Freed, Five to Go"

    "Four Freed, Five to Go"
    Roy Wright, Eugene Williams, Olen Montgomery, and Willie Roberson are released and all charges are dropped. However, the remaining five either remain in jail or are convicted. Clarence Norris is convicted of rape and sentenced to death. Andy Wright is convicted and sentenced to 99 years for rape. Charlie Weems is convicted and sentenced to 75 years. Ozzie Powell pleads guilty to assaulting the sheriff and is sentenced to 20 years.
  • Supreme Court Refuses to Review Convictions

    Supreme Court Refuses to Review Convictions
    The US Supreme Court declines to review the Patterson and Norris convictions. Norris is still sentenced to death and Patterson remains sentenced to 75 years in prison.
  • Norris's Death Sentenced Reduced

    Norris's Death Sentenced Reduced
    After the Alabama Supreme Court upheld Norris's death sentence in June, Governor Graves reduces the sentence to a life in prison.
  • Governor Graves Declines all Pardons

    Governor Graves Declines all Pardons
    Governor of Alabama David Bibb Graves denies the pardon applications of Norris, Weems, Andy Wright, Patterson, and Powell after interviewing them in October. Previously, the five had been deinied pardons by the Alabama Supreme Court.
  • Charles Weems is Paroled

    Charles Weems is Paroled
    After being denied a pardon, Weems becomes the first to be paroled.
  • Clarence Norris and Andy Wright are Paroled

    Clarence Norris and Andy Wright are Paroled
    Clarence Norris and Andy Wright are paroled. However, in September of 1944 they violate their parole by leaving Montgomery.
  • Norris Returns to Prison

    Norris Returns to Prison
    After leaving Montgomery in violation of his parole, Clarence Norris is returned to prison.
  • Ozzie Powell is Paroled

    Ozzie Powell is Paroled
    Ozzie Powell becomes the fourth of five still imprisoned to be paroled.
  • Norris gets Parole Again

    Norris gets Parole Again
    After violating his parole in 1944 and being returned to jail, Norris gets paroled again. In 1976, Norris became the only member to be pardoned when Alabama governer George Wallace pardoned him.
  • Patterson Escapes from Prison

    Patterson Escapes from Prison
    Haywood Patterson, the only one not paroled, escapes from prison and flees to Michigan. He will later be charged with manslaughter after a barfight.