Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Crime and Criminal Law » Scottsboro Boys - A Long Ride, The Accusers, Legal Wrangling, Samuel Leibowitz, Second Chances, Continuing The Good Fight

Scottsboro Boys - Continuing The Good Fight

court supreme alabama trial

Judge Norton decided justice had been denied to Haywood Patterson and granted a motion for a new trial. Horton wrote a lengthy opinion reviewing the case and concluded the jury's conviction was not justified by the evidence. For his efforts, he lost reelection as a judge and his political career came to an end. In December 1933, the State of Alabama tried Patterson for the third time and once again sentenced him to die. Clarence Norris was put on trial for the second time and was similarly convicted and sentenced to die.

Leibowitz, stunned by the guilty verdicts, vowed to defend the Boys to the end. He appealed both cases unsuccessfully to the Alabama Supreme Court. Leibowitz then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court granted reviews of both cases in January 1935. Later that April, in a landmark decision, the Supreme Court reversed both convictions in Norris v. Alabama. The Court ruled on the grounds that blacks had been systematically excluded from serving on grand juries and trial juries. The defendants were not being judged by their peers as required by law.

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