The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 13, 2013

Bill to pardon Scottsboro Boys clears 1st hurdle


Associated Press

— MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Legislation to allow posthumous pardons for the Scottsboro Boys has cleared its first hurdle.

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9-0 Wednesday for a bill that would allow the state parole board to grant posthumous pardons to eight Scottsboro Boys who didn't get pardons before they died. Only one of the nine was pardoned before his death. The bill by Republican Sen. Arthur Orr of Decatur now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Current state law does not permit posthumous pardons.

In 1931, nine black youths were accused of raping two white women aboard a train in north Alabama. One of the women later recanted her story. The case resulted in U.S. Supreme Court rulings requiring that defendants receive effective counsel and forbidding the systematic exclusion of blacks from juries.