"Scottsboro Boys" Case Landmark Decisions
After all-white juries in Jackson County convicted the "Scottsboro Boys,” attorneys for the International Labor Defense (ILD) guided the defendants' appeals. They argued that the trial judge had failed to appoint adequate counsel for the accused men. The
Supreme Court agreed in Powell v. Alabama (1932) to a constitutional right to a competent defense.
A change of venue moved trials to Decatur, where New York attorney Samuel Leibowitz assumed the role of lead counsel for the defense. Retrials by all-white juries also ended in convictions. On appeal, the ILD successfully argued for reversal, showing that blacks had been excluded from jury duty in Morgan County. The high court ruled in Norris v. Alabama (1935) that a defendant must receive a trial by a jury of one's peers.
Erected 2018 by Alabama Historical Association
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Law Enforcement.
Location. 34° 36.429′ N, 86° 59.034′ W. Marker is in Decatur, Alabama, in Morgan County. Marker is on Ferry Street Northeast south of Cain Street Northeast, on the right when traveling south. Marker is located in park behind Morgan County Courthouse. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Decatur AL 35601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Morgan County World War II Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Morgan County Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); World War One (within shouting distance of this marker); Korean War (within shouting distance of this marker); Decatur Vietnam War Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); A County Older Than The State, Morgan County (within shouting distance of this marker); First Presbyterian Church (USA) (approx. ¼ mile away); The Decatur Daily (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Decatur.
Also see . . .
1. History Channel article on the Scottsboro Boys. (Submitted on August 4, 2020.)
2. Scottsboro Boys - Wikipedia article. (Submitted on September 4, 2020, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.)
3. Norris v. Alabama - Wikipedia article. One of the cases decided by the United States Supreme Court that arose out of the trial of the Scottsboro Boys. (Submitted on September 4, 2020, by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, Georgia.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 4, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 80 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 4, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.