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Scottsboro Trial - Consider The Following . . .

legal accused jury communist

  • Find three instances in the news account where Judge Callahan acted with bias and prejudice against the defense.
  • Why did denying proper counsel (attorneys) violate due process guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment (see U.S. Supreme Court case Powell v. Alabama, 1932)?
  • Whey did excluding black Americans from juries deprive blacks of equal legal protection guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment (see U.S. Supreme Court case Norris v. Alabama, 1935)?
  • The American Communist Party was thoroughly involved in the legal defense of the Scottsboro Boys. It cited the case as an example of the American justice system's failure. Research the Communist Party in the United States in the 1930s. During this time period, why were a significant number of Americans willing to listen to the Communist Party's arguments?

Prosecution: Those lawyers bringing legal action against the accused.

Local solicitor: Chief city government lawyer.

Talesmen: Individuals from which a jury is chosen.

Veniremen: Individuals chosen for the jury.

Williams: His name was actually Charlie Weems; the newspaper erred.

Mistrial: A trial declared invalid because of technical errors or misconduct that eliminated the possibility of a legal and just decision.

Manacled: Handcuffed and chained.

Choler: Anger.

Tampered: Interfered.

Hobo jungle: Hobo camps repeatedly used in the woods along railroad lines.

Hoboed: travel by hitching onto trains and living in hobo camps.

Escorts: Men accompanying the women, Lester Carter and Orville Gilley.

Vagrants: Individuals wandering about without an apparent permanent home or financial means of support.

Immaterial: Unimportant.

Chief defense counsel:

Lawyer in charge of defending the accused.

Admissible: Allowed to be presented to the jury in the trial.

Contempt: Disrespect of the judge.

Insinuations: Suggestions.

Blustered: To talk or act noisily and in a pompous or self-important manner.

Original trials: Patterson's first three trials.

Inadmissible: Not allowed to be used in the trial.

Rebuttal: Arguments against testimony.

Rendered: Delivered.

Crescendo: Reached a high volume.

Martyrdom: To suffer for a cause.

Refuted: Shown to be false.

Contradicted: The opposite was suggested.

Clamor: Insistence.

Complainant: Person making accusations, Mrs. Price.

Direct: Hard evidence supporting the charge.

Circumstantial: Indirect evidence, such as events surrounding the case, that suggest the charges are true.

Reasonable doubt:

Uncertainty about the guilt of the accused.

Acquitted: Freed from charges; not guilty.


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