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Scottsboro: An American Tragedy












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Voices from Scottsboro: Trials Before Judge Horton

Excerpts from newspaper quotes

The cases were next tried in Decatur, before Judge Horton. Haywood Patterson was convicted of rape. After a few weeks, Judge Horton returned to the courtroom and dismissed the verdict and forced a new trial.


Dr. Marvin Lynch (in private conversation)
"Judge, I looked at both the women and told them they were lying, that they knew they had not been raped and they just laughed at me. ... If I testified for those boys I'd never be able to go back into Jackson County."

Haywood Patterson
"I was framed at Scottboro."

Charlston, SC News and Courier (April 16, 1933)
"If there has been no fair trial, outside pressure on Alabama is chiefly responsible for it."

Leibowitz to Horton (April 10, 1933)
"I am taking back to New York with me a picture of one of the finest jurists I have ever met. But I am sorry I cannot say as much for a jury which has decided this case against the evidence."

Judge HortonHorton (in throwing out the case)
"History, sacred and profane, and the common experience of mankind teach us that women of the character shown in this case are prone for selfish reasons to make false accusations both of rape and of insult upon the slightest provocation or even without provocation for ulterior purposes."


Former Alabama Senator Thomas J. Heflin
"This dallying about with the Scottsboro rapists is a humiliating insult to the white race in Alabama and the very worst thing that could happen to the law-abiding negroes of this state."

1931 | 1933 | 1933 | 1976



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