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Scottsboro: An American Tragedy

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Voices from Scottsboro: Trials Before Judge Callahan

Excerpts from newspaper quotes

In Decatur, the cases were tried again before Judge Callahan. Haywood Patterson and Clarence Norris were both convicted, and Norris' appeal went to the US Supreme Court.

Ruby BatesRuby Bates (in the Daily Worker)
"Since I was in Decatur almost every day now I get letters from the South calling me a 'nigger-lover' and saying that I should be lynched too. I am willing to tell the story here [in New York] again to any ministers or lawyers or anybody you want me to talk to, but I won't go back to Decatur."

Spectator to NY Herald Tribune reporter (November 30, 1933)
"[Victoria Price] might be a fallen woman, but by God she is a white woman."

Prosecutor Thomas Knight
"We all have a passion, all the men in this courtroom and that is to protect the womanhood of the state of Alabama."

Judge CallahanJudge Callahan (to the jury)
"[The] mere presence of a party at or while the crime is going on, and if his presence is for the purpose of aiding, encouraging, assisting or abetting in any way the commission of crime... he is as guilty as the one who committed the offense, although he never moved a muscle or said a word; provided his presence did encourage, aid or cause the other party to commit the offense."

Birmingham Post (December 2, 1933)
"The record of this trial, when it comes to review by the United States Supreme Court, will not be a favorable commentary on Alabama judicial procedure."

1931 | 1933 | 1933 | 1976

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