Her husband died in October of 1976, and Ruby died a week later, just two days after Clarence Norris received his pardon from the State of Alabama. December: Patterson is charged with murder after a barroom brawl. VAN GLASSCOCK, Former National Guardsman: Patterson was mean. He was sent to Atmore Prison Farm, where he worked in the hot sun for 12 hours a day, chained to other prisoners. FLYNT: The first thing they try to do is concoct an excuse for themselves. We brought them cigarettes and chocolate. sentences, roles, and backgrounds from the documentary "Scottsboro: An American Tragedy" Terms in this set (14) Ruby Bates. FLYNT: They saw the ultimate outsider. Courtroom. The Scottsboro Defense Committee (SDC) is formed with Allan Knight Chalmers as chairman, and a local attorney, Clarence Watts, is named co-counsel. GOODMAN: Leibowitz was, first of all, a remarkably thorough researcher. Bates: She said we might have to lay out a sentence in jail. In 1932, during an unrelated arrest, police found a letter that Bates had written to a boyfriend. FLYNT: Alabamians have never backed away from a fight. Scottsboro: An American Tragedy is a 2001 American documentary film directed by Daniel Anker and Barak Goodman.The film is based on one of the longest-running and most controversial courtroom pursuits of racism in American history, which led to nine black teenaged men being wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in Alabama. LEIBOWITZ: He never believed that for a moment. All you Nigger bastards unload.' He is buried in a neglected cemetery in Chattanooga. In 1959, convinced that his wife was cheating on him, Roy shot and killed her, and then, with his Bible by his side, shot and killed himself. October: Clarence Norris is pardoned by Alabama Governor George Wallace. She was taken out of town by armed deputies and sent back north, where many people celebrated her courage and honesty. June 28: The Alabama Supreme Court unanimously denies the defense motion for new trials. He wanted, called for a mistrial immediately. Attorney General Thomas Knight, also the State's prosecutor, engineered the removal of Judge Horton from the case, and named in his place 70 year-old judge William Callahan. June: The Alabama Supreme Court affirms the sentences given Norris, Andy Wright and Weems. The 34 year-old Knight had the demeanor, one reporter wrote, "of a small and enthusiastic child." Grover Hall, influential editor of The Montgomery Advertiser, immediately lashed back. Music by L.E. Anna Useem Created by. Though he survived, Powell was never the same. And basically the state said, all right, we'll give you those. 1977 But Horton was a man of the South, and the South was speaking in a single voice. Performed by The New York City Labor Chorus, "The Scottsboro Boys" June: Ozie Powell is released on parole. In the event that we do not we are going right on up to the United States Supreme Court in Washington. Leibowitz: Isn't it a fact that the night before you left Chattanooga you and your boyfriend and Ruby and Lester Carter went walking along the railroad tracks? The sheriff said to me: 'see that gallows, nigger. He had no idea. Prosecutor, poor millworker and prostitute, lived with Ruby Bates, unladylike, tough, and stood her ground (refused to tell the truth about the case) until she died. Almost immediately after Judge Horton's decision the state announced that it would retry the Scottsboro prisoners. Samuel Leibowitz never won a victory in an Alabama court for the Scottsboro defendants, but he did save their lives. Scottsboro: An American Tragedy. Directed by Barak Goodman, Daniel Anker. We are sitting on a mountain of TNT. All Rights Reserved. New York Times Pictures Leibowitz knew that he had to overcome one crucial piece of State's evidence: an examination of the girls just hours after they were brought from the train had turned up traces of semen in their bodies. Grinberg Film Libraries, Inc. For years, the Communist Party had devoted special attention to the American South, and to Southern blacks in particular. Deliberate injustice is more fatal to the one who imposes it than to the one on whom it is imposed. August: An Alabama parole board recommends a denial of parole for Patterson and Powell. Irene Selver The Scottsboro defendants, now convicted rapists, were taken to Kilby prison near Montgomery, the pride of the Alabama system. The train was stopped by an armed posse in the tiny town of Paint Rock, Alabama. The jury deliberated a day before reconvicting Patterson and sentencing him to death for the third time. Voice: Mr. Norris, this is your pardon, full pardon, on behalf of the state of Alabama, the board of pardons and paroles and the governor... WASHINGTON: He was very emotional when he received the pardon at the press conference. VOICE: Workers, Farmers, Negro and White.... With control of the case, the communists set about to bring Scottsboro to the attention of the entire world. January 23: Patterson is found guilty and sentenced to 75 years in prison. According to Bates, she had gone to New York with a friend. But we weren't goin' nowhere so there was a fight. WAYNE FLYNT, Historian: It begins with a fairly clear cut issue of black and white, of sexuality, of rape. VOICE: It is only the Communist Party which day in and day out fights for every demand and need of the Negroes in the terror and lynch-ridden South. On June 22nd, 1933, in a crowded courtroom Horton set aside the guilty verdict. The Scottsboro Defense Committee was formed on December 19, 1935, with the objective to provide a united defense for the Scottsboro defendants. Leibowitz managed to postpone the trials of the other seven, but with little hope of a different outcome. Prosecutor in case. court the defendants, their parents, and public opinion for the right to represent the young men in an appeal, and raise money for their defense. GOODMAN: So he asked her dozens of questions about Ms. Callie Brochie and where she lived and what she looked like and had she ever met her before. Robin Kelley July 22-23: The trial of Charley Weems ends in conviction and a sentence of 75 years. Stop! It wasn't necessary to voice an objection, Callahan would take care of it. He ordered the Scottsboro defendants to stand trial for the third time. The train is stopped by an angry posse in Paint Rock, Alabama, and nine black youths are arrested for assault. All guides are due by the end of class. Carter: This is what happened. Throw this body of death away from Alabama. They were literally living like dying men might live. January: The I.L.D. CARTER: By the time she gets down off the witness stand what should have been the most effective witness for the defense, as one of the jurors said later, 'we never even considered her testimony. It was bigger, lots bigger -- that is a toy. But to many Southerners, it had been a deep affront. As it opened in April, 1933, three hundred spectators crowded the hallways waiting to enter the courtroom. They started to fight with one another. Knight pointed out that either she was lying now or had lied two years earlier in Scottsboro. if(!f._fbq)f._fbq=n;n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0'; Voice of Patterson: We was just mindin' our own business, when one of them said, 'This is a white man's train. t.src=v;s=b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0]; She was just one of a vast army; at the height of the Depression, a quarter million jobless young people lived itinerant lives, moving from place to place by hopping trains. This trial is a replaying of abolitionism, Civil War, and Reconstruction. Now, Leibowitz confronted Price with this story. October: An Alabama parole board recommends a denial of parole for Norris, Weems and Andy Wright. THORNTON: White Alabamians did not believe that blacks ought to serve on juries. No get, we didn't ever care for him. The International Labor Defense, the legal arm of the Communist Party of the United States of America, was formed in 1925 to counter groups like the Ku Klux Klan. The proof tends strongly to show that she knowingly testified falsely in many material aspects of the case. For months, he had waited for this moment: the chance to confront Victoria Price in a court of law. Beside him, in an unmarked grave, lies his brother, Andy. John Tanzer The women are examined by Drs. fbq('track', 'ViewContent'); Raymond Fraley Price grew up in a poor part of Huntsville, Alabama and worked in local cotton mills, when there was work. Home An American Tragedy Q & A Ask a question and get answers from your fellow students and educators. "I told it just like Victoria Price told it." Sylvia Thompson  Andrew Wyndham, Archival Film and Photographs Leibowitz: Ah, ha! Stanley Tucci fbq('init', '271837786641409'); Lyrics by Abron She comes right out and says said that: 'I made the whole story up because Victoria told me to make it up.' Patterson conceded no emotion as he sat at the defense table, but Leibowitz was crushed. Much of that resentment was directed at Leibowitz himself. After their release from prison, most of the Scottsboro defendants led troubled lives in the North. The image of the black man was that he was anxious at all times to rape a white woman. That one sitting behind the defendants' counsel took my overalls off. In Harlem, thousands had closely followed the events in Alabama; the verdict shocked and radicalized many. GOODMAN: So Bates essentially says that she made the whole thing up. STEVENSON: The guards who ran Kilby Prison, certainly the death row unit, also saw it as their role to punish you on a daily basis. (Enter your ZIP code for information on American Experience events and screening in your area.). The prosecution doesn't have the slightest idea of what's going on. April 7-8:  Haywood Patterson is tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. State officials listened, but made clear that one condition would have to be met: Samuel Leibowitz would have to go. To prove that they had, Leibowitz brought with him the huge jury rolls from Decatur. n.queue=[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; It was not until a young organizer visited the parents of Haywood Patterson and the mother of Ozie Powell, that the communists finally secured control of the defense. His brother Roy, youngest of the defendants, served in the army and married. The question here is whether even this poor scrap of colored humanity will receive a square deal. She died for real a few years later still insisting that she had told the truth. Leibowitz, SOT: " I will fight to my last breath to send these boys back to their parents and to their loved ones.". It wasn't that they were raped. There was demonstrations in Moscow. At four trials in Scottsboro, one before Judge Horton, two more in 1933 before Judge Callahan, and four more in 1937, Victoria Price stuck to her story, refusing to budge under cross-examination, and each time the jury found the defendants guilty.

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