The Scottsboro Trial and the trial of Tom Robinson are almost identical in the forms of bias shown and the accusers that were persecuted. The bias is obvious and is shown throughout both cases, which took place in the same time period. Common parallels are seen through the time period that both trials have taken place in and those who were persecuted and why they were persecuted in the first place. The thought of "All blacks were liars, and all blacks are wrongdoers," was a major part of all of these trails. A white person's word was automatically the truth when it was held up to the credibility of someone whom was black.
On trial were nine falsely accused black boys who had been the accused rapists of two white women. Similarly, In To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson, a black man, was tried for the rape of a young white woman, Mayella Ewell. In both trials the men were found guilty and sentence to life in prison or death. In both the Scottsboro trials and Lee’s trial, the
Title: State of Alabama V. The Scottsboro Boys Introduction: In the South, during the early 1930’s African Americans were considered inferior to all other races, especially in terms of the law and equality. In the case of The Scottsboro Boys, nine young black males from Georgia accused of raping two white women in the southern part of Alabama. While illegally crossing railcars they were involved in a fight between other individuals who happened to be white. While being arrested, to avoid going to jail one of the white women said that her and her friend had been raped on the train by the nine young men. Years following this event many African American men have been wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit making this a widespread
Many of the events and characters in the story can be related to her own childhood experience. Around the age of five, there was a trial known as the Scottsboro case, in which nine black males were falsely accused on the charge of raping two young white women (Biography of Harper Lee (1926). The men were nearly killed even before they were convicted by mobs, and although there was no evidence of the crime, they were sentenced to death, just as in her novel. This event inspired her to create the trial consisting of Tom Robinson in her book. As a child in the South, Harper Lee was exposed to a substantial amount of racism, which filled the minds of many during her childhood.
In To Kill A Mockingbird Lee tells the story of a Mr. Tom Robinson who is an African American who is being charged with rape against a white women. Atticus is the lawyer who must defend Robinson in court. In the Scottsboro case a central figure was a heroic judge who overturned a guilty verdict against the young men. The judge went against the public in trying to protect the rights of the African American men. In reading the novel you learn that Atticus arouses anger in the small community when he tries to defend Robinson.
The historical Scottsboro Trial and the fictional trial of Tom Robinson in the book To Kill a Mockingbird have striking similarities that may or may not be coincidence. Both trials took place in Alabama during the same era of relentless prejudice and bias, which is a major factor in each of these cases. In both cases, the accusers were white women and the persecutors were black men; therefore the black men were immediately considered liars and “wrongdoers”, unlike the word of the white women, which was essentially the truth above the word of someone who was black. Even when the persecutors in these cases had a possible chance of being declared innocent, mobs of citizens formed to threaten them, many of whom were simply racist against blacks. As is evident in these trials, most white people could easily accuse a black person of a crime whether they committed it or not and unjustly get away with it.
There were many things that happened leading up to the court case that foreshadowed Tom Robinson’s inability to be found innocent of the charges. The Scottsboro case and the case in the novel are similar in many ways, especially in that they ruined the lives of blacks over false accusations. An event that was very much similar in nature to the novel was the Scottsboro trials. The Scottsboro trials involved nine young black males who were charged with the rape of two white females on a train. The black boys on the train got into a fight with some white males, which was the beginning of their worst nightmare.
It is by understanding the parallel between Tom Robinson’s case in To Kill a Mockingbird and the Scottsboro case that can be understood that a fair trial was unlikely and that because of Tom Robinson’s race he was presumed guilty before his trial. Investigating the similarities between the Scottsboro case and Tom Robinson’s trail, the first major parallel the shadow of lynching that menaces the accused in both. The threat of lynching occurs in the novel when after Tom Robinson is transported to the Maycomb city jail. That night a mob of people from nearby community called Old Sarum gather around the jail in an attempt to abduct him. This type of behavior is by all means very plausible for this time period.
During the 1930’s, nine young black men were falsely accused of raping two white women on a freight train near Paint Rock, Alabama. Ruby Bates and Victoria Price accused Charlie Weems, Ozie Powell, Clarence Norris, Olen Montgomery, Willie Roberson, Haywood Patterson, Andy and Roy Wright, and Eugene Williams of this crime. The boys were arrested on March 25, 1931. All but Roy Wright were sentenced to the death penalty. They were all convicted on very little evidence.
The Scottsboro Trials, Brown v. Mississippi, and trial of Tom Robinson in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird The purpose of this essay is to compare three very similar cases, the Scottsboro Trials, Brown v. Mississippi, and the fictional trial of Tom Robinson in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird; and to prove why the defendant of the third trial never had a chance. Each took place in the rural South in the 1920’s and 30’s and involved the unfair conviction of young black males by all-white juries pressured by the threat of mob violence. Each lacked the evidence sufficient for conviction, most especially for the death penalty. Last, heroes emerged from each trial and made small but solid steps towards equal justice for all. “ROOSEVELT IS ASKED TO INTERVENE TO PROTECT SCOTTSBORO NEGROES: Warning of 'Massacre' of Seven Prisoners and Their Lawyers at Decatur (Ala.) Court Today, Defense Counsel Wire President a Plea to Obtain State Troops” (Linder), reads a headline from the New York Times on November 20, 1933.