Scottsboro Boys Trials

Life isn’t fair; especially in the case of the Scottsboro Boys Trial and in the book To Kill A Mockingbird. Both of these trials have very distinctive scenes and themes in common. For instance, the Scottsboro boys trial and to kill a mockingbird both took place in the 1930s and in Alabama. Also, in both cases white women accused the men of rape, and they ended up dying in jail. While both of theses cases clearly appear now to be so unjust and unfair, this was the norm during the 1930s.

In both of these trials the setting was the 1930s in Alabama, where there was an abundance of change and turmoil happening in America. Also, this was when segregation was outlawed but racial prejudice was still clearly apparent. During this time, America was in The Great Depression where millions of people lost their jobs, homes, businesses, land, and everything that made up their way of life. (Johnson, Historical Context: The Scottsboro Boys Trial) This demonstrates that it was a struggle to carry on without the necessities and people often helped each other and let people of different race to struggle more. Don’t you remember me, Mr. Cunningham? I’m Jean Louise Finch. You brought us some hickory nuts one early morning, remember? We had a talk. I went and got my daddy to come out and thank you. ”(Lee 205) This happened when the big mob of Cunningham’s surrounded Atticus at the jailhouse for defending Tom Robinson. They ended leaving because Scout was talking to Mr. Cunningham, which made him remember that Atticus was a good man for defending him and accepting food instead of money.

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To end with, this period of time influenced the aspects and ways of life that people looked upon and changed it in many ways. Furthermore, these cases also had lower class white females accusing black males of rape, leaving us with the conclusion that the word of a white always beat the word of a black in 1930. The accused claimed that they had not even been in the same car with the women, and the defense attorneys also argued that one of the accused was blind and another too sickly to walk unassisted and thus could not have committed such a violent crime. Johnson, Historical Context: The Scottsboro Boys Trial) This displays that the possibility of the guys raping the women was very little and just because the women said it made it true. “Your left-handed, Mr. Ewell. ” (Lee, 237) Atticus proves that Mr. Ewell is left handed and says that Mayella’s right eye was punched, and Tom Robinsons left arm is crippled, showing that the evidence exempts Tom Robinson from committing the crime.

Above all, the men in both trials were wrongly accused of crimes that could not have happened just because of what white females stated. Also, in both cases the men got sent to prison for death and ended up dying. In this case both the juries were made up of all white males. April 1, 1935, the United States Supreme Court reversed the convictions of Patterson and Norris on the grounds that qualified African-Americans had been systematically excluded from all juries in Alabama, and that they had been specifically excluded in this case. Johnson, Historical Context: The Scottsboro Boys Trial) This means that the Supreme Court overruled the case because all the jurors were white male. “Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. ”(Lee, 274) This shows that the jury makes up a tremendous part of the conviction of Tom Robinson and that it most likely did not have a fair variety of jurors on it. Racism: a hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

As the Scottsboro Boys trial date approached, they were moved to the Decatur jail, a rat-infested facility that two years earlier had been condemned as “unfit for white prisoners. ” (The Trials of the Scottsboro Boys) This displays that these jail cells were ok for blacks but not whites which also shows racism. “I seen that black person yonder ruttin’ on my Mayella. ” (Lee 231) This connection shows the racial prejudice that Mr. Ewell has for blacks, which in The Scottsboro Boys Trial there is the same prejudice.

Showing that the themes in both cases show a lot of racism, which nowadays it wouldn’t be like that. To sum up, To Kill a Mockingbird and the Scottsboro Boys Trials have a lot in common; both of them show that the setting was a major part of it. Also the similarities between the cases are that there are white girls accusing black males of rape and the outcome of both trials were the same. Unfortunately, these factors did affect the lives of not just the Scottsboro Boys but many African-Americans during this time. Which even still today people still have to live with racial prejudice.