Term Paper For Into To Criminal Justice

1804 words - 8 pages

There have been no other trials in American history like the trials of the Scottsboro boys; they have been tried, convicted, reversals and retrials, for the alleged rape of Victoria Price and Ruby Bates.On March 25, 1931 four black teenagers hopped on the Southern Railroad's Chattanooga to Memphis freight, in hope of finding a job with the government, hauling logs. While on the train the met up with five other black teens from various parts of Georgia. On the same train where four whites, two males and to females, all dressed in overalls. While the white boys were crossing over the top of a car, a white boy had accidentally stepped on the hand of a black boy, Haywood Patterson. A rock fi ...view middle of the document...

They had showed their incompetence in many ways. They both had agreed to let all of the defendants be tried together, regardless that the youngest of the boys had been twelve, whose name was Roy Wright. The prosecution was the one to stand up and say that the boys had to be tried in groups of two or three, because the prosecutor thought that it may cause a reversible error. The cross examination of Victoria Price only lasted mere minutes, the examining doctors were not cross examined at all, Ruby Bates was not asked about contradictions between her statement and that of Victoria Price. The defense attorney only offered up the defendants as witnesses, six of the boys, ( Andy Wright, Willie Roberson, Charles Weems, Ozie Powell, Olen Montgomery, and Eugene Williams), all denied raping or seeing the girls on the train.When the second trial was underway, the roar outside of the courthouse, told the defendants that the jury had found a guilty verdict. When the trials were over eight of the nine boys were convicted and sentenced to death.The cases were appealed to the United States Supreme Court and they were issued some new trials on the basis of that they didn't have competent counsel. ( Powell v. Alabama)The boys had spent two years on death row, in the middle of the Depression, so the conditions that they had to deal with on a daily basis were to say the least horrid. Ironically two years to the date, the day that they had to be executed they boys had heard and watched another man die in the electric chair. The boys had watched another man being led to the chamber, and through that unsound proof walls, they could hear what was being done to him and listened to that inmate die. Once or twice a week they were allowed out of their cells, handcuffed, and walked a few yards to the shower. As their trial date approached they were moved to the Decatur jail, a rat infested facility that was declared unfit for white prisoners.Haywood Patterson was the first to go on trial again, and again Victoria Price was on the witness stand, and again she was only cross examined for a few minutes by the defense attorney. The boys were able to obtain a new defense attorney by the name of Samuel Liebowitz. The defense attorney that the boys had this time was merciless, he had stated that their was no Callie Brochie boardinghouse in Chattanooga, and the she was a adulterer who had relations with a man two days earlier, and it was Jack Tillers semen (or Orville Gilleys) that was found in her vagina, that day. Mr. Leibowitz also proved that the witness was a prostitute, she was neither crying, bleeding, after the alleged gang rape. Price had remained sarcastic, and evasive and venomous, throughout the cross examination.Dr. R.R.Bridges, the doctor that examined the girls in Scottsboro, less than two hours after the rape. He did confirm that there was semen in the vaginas of the two girls, and that they both appeared to be calm, composed and free of bleeding and vagi...


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