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‘Scottsboro Boys’ Receive Posthumous Pardon

In this July 12, 1937 file photo, the eight men due to be arraigned before the Circuit Court in Decatur, Ala. play music at their jail in Birmingham, Ala. before their court appearance. From left are Olen Montgomery, Andy Wright, Eugene Williams, Charlie Weems, Patterson, Clarence Norris (dancing) Roy Wright, Ozie Powell and Willie Roberson, also known as the Scottsboro Boys.

Alabama’s parole board has approved of granting posthumous pardons in the infamous “Scottsboro Boys” rape case.

The board made the decision during a hearing in Montgomery for three black men whose convictions were never overturned in a case that came to symbolize racial injustice in the Deep South in the 1930s.

Nine black males were falsely accused of raping two white women on a train in northeast Alabama in 1931. The men were convicted by all-white juries, and all but the youngest defendant were sentenced to death.

Five of the cases were overturned in 1937, and one man received a pardon before his death in 1976. The board says it is now offering formal pardons for Charles Weems, Andy Wright and Haywood Patterson.

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