ACLU Comment on Pardons in 'Scottsboro Boys' Case
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NEW YORK – The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles today voted to grant posthumous pardons to three African-American young men who were among those falsely accused of raping two white women on a train in Alabama in the infamous 1931 “Scottsboro Boys” case. ACLU lawyers played a major role in the case, which led to two landmark Supreme Court rulings that established important rights for criminal defendants.
Dennis Parker, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program, said: “The long-overdue pardon of the African-American young men unjustly charged with rape in Alabama decades ago comes too late to provide any comfort to them, but at least will officially clear their names. We must recognize this as an opportunity to demonstrate the corrosive, unjust associations between criminality and race prevalent in the early 20th century and sadly, too much with us today. The ACLU believes that we owe it to the young men tried in Scottsboro, to people of color living now and those of future generations, and to the nation as a whole to resolve to address, once and for all, the continuing injustices in our criminal justice system.”
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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
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The ACLU Racial Justice Program aims to preserve and extend constitutionally guaranteed rights to people who have historically been denied their rights on the basis of race.