Socialist Worker

Scottboro boys finally pardoned - 82 years on

Issue No. 2381

The US state of Alabama has granted posthumous pardons to three black teenagers wrongly accused of raping two white women on a train in 1931.

Nine young men were initially charged with rape. They were held in Scottsboro, Alabama, and became known as the Scottsboro Boys. One of the women involved, Ruby Bates, later withdrew her testimony, saying the police had forced her to lie.

However all but the youngest were sentenced to death, though none were executed. Five of the convictions were later overturned, and a sixth was pardoned in 1976. Only one of the Scottsboro Boys received a pardon during his lifetime.

A hit musical about the case is currently running on London's West End. Socialist Worker spoke to actor from the show Colman Domingo.


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