MONTGOMERY — Alabama lawmakers will discuss the proposed “Scottsboro Boys Act” on Monday in Montgomery.
Last month, State Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said he would sponsor a bill allowing Gov. Robert Bentley the authority to pardon eight of the nine Scottsboro Boys defendants.
State representatives John Robinson, a Democrat, and Wayne Johnson, a Republican, both of Jackson County, said they plan to ask lawmakers to pass a resolution declaring the defendants innocent.
All of the defendants are dead. The state constitution does not permit the governor or Board of Pardons to grant posthumous pardons because of certain legal requirements for the person seeking the pardon.
The almost 80-year-old case involved nine blacks who were accused of raping two white women on a train in Jackson County in the 1930s.
It’s called the Scottsboro Boys trial because the defendants were underage. Former Gov. George Wallace pardoned one of the defendants in 1976.
Decatur gained a central role in the case when the original convictions and death sentences were overturned, and the cases were transferred to a Decatur courtroom in 1933.
MARY SELL, DEANGELO MCDANIEL