The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

April 5, 2013

Lawmakers vote to pardon the Scottsboro Boys


Lynch mobs gathered outside the jail, but were warned off by the white sheriff and rebuffed by National Guardsmen called in by the governor.

After the defendants were convicted, the Communist Party seized on the case as an opportunity to make inroads among black people and liberals. It got one of its lawyers named as defense counsel, and also secured the services of famed defense attorney Samuel Liebowitz.

There were years of appeals — some successful, as one of the women recanted and said their claim was a lie.

Decades later, when the idea of pardons was raised, the governor and parole board said they didn't have the legal authority to pardon the deceased. But Sheila Washington, founder of the Scottsboro Boys Museum, which opened in 2010, pursued the legislation.

Washington said Thursday that the pardons would finally shine a light on "this dark injustice."

If the governor signs the bill as expected, a petition would need to be filed for each of the men, said Eddie Cook, executive director of the state parole board. The parole board would then decide whether to grant each pardon.

Previously, there had not been a procedure for pardoning someone who is dead.

Text Only
Local News


Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

None of the above
     View Results
AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee