Eighty Years Later, Scottsboro Boys Pardoned


Seven months after the Alabama House of Representatives voted unanimously in favor of creating legislation to posthumously pardon nine black teens who were wrongfully convicted of raping two white women in 1931, this morning the Alabama parole board approved posthumous pardons for three of the men known collectively as the Scottsboro Boys.


The Associated Press reported that the board made the decision during a hearing in Montgomery for the three men — Charles Weems, Andy Wright and Haywood Patterson — whose convictions were never overturned. According to the board, the others were not eligible for pardon because their convictions had been overturned on appeal and the charges were dropped.


Olen Montgomery, Ozie Powell, Willie Roberson, Eugene Williams and Roy Wright’s convictions were overturned in 1937, and Clarence Norris received a pardon before his death in 1976. Since posthumous pardons were not permitted in Alabama until the legislature passed a law earlier this year, nothing was ever done for the remaining three men until today.


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