The "Scottsboro Stories" blog reflects the writings, photographs, arrangements, opinions and musings of me, Garry L. Morgan, only. I do not represent the Scottsboro Boys Museum or the Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation - the parent organization of the Scottsboro Boys Museum. I receive no profit from this endeavor. This blog is for educational purposes and that of open expression about racial and sexual discrimination, institutional and personal racism and the deadliest war of all time - "The Culture War."


The Ledger: "Scottsboro, Ala., Museum Opens to Mark a Shameful Case "

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Scottsboro Boys Back in the News- From the Birmingham News, "Pardons sought for the remaining defendants in Scottsboro Boys case"

Original Photo Entitled "Enjoying Their Freedom," July 26, 1937: Samuel B. Leibowitz and the 4 Scottsboro Case defendants wave farewell as they leave for New York after viewing a movie in Cincinnatti, Ohio. The four which were freed: Eugene Williams, Roy Wright, Willie Roberson and Olen Montgomery. ( photograph owned by G.L Morgan)
Scottsboro Boys Museum is housed in the oldest standing African American Church in Jackson County Alabama, Joyce Chapel. (photo by G. Morgan)

Early Community Resistance
Arson threats were received via Advance Internet web forums, quote: "we will burn the museum once you get it built, (December 2009)" was the threat. Police reports were filed, the local District Attorney's Office was contacted, no formal investigation was initiated. The Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director, who supported the museum project, was harassed for his support.

Scottsboro Boys Museum Founders
Ms. Sheila Washington, Director and Board of Director member (photo by G. Morgan)
Rev. Gary Speers, former Board of Director-resigned (photo by G. Morgan)
Mr. Cliff Parrish, former Board of Director- resigned (photo by G. Morgan)
Ms. Kim Speers, former Board of Director-resigned (photo by G. Morgan)
Mr. Charles Elliot, Board of Director member (photo by G. Morgan)
Ms. Louise Tolliver, Board of Director member, one of the original founders, standing next to State Representative John Robinson.(photo by G. Morgan)
"The Jackson County Legislative Delegation has gotten on board with the pardon efforts as well. Representative John Robinson said, “It’s been a long time coming, it’s been a stigma on Scottsboro. There has been a lot of injustice and it’s time to get it over with. This is the last good thing we can do for those nine men who were sent to prison and sentenced to death.” In February, Representative Robinson will introduce a bill to the House for the pardon of the Scottsboro Boys, and Senator McGill will present it to the Senate. “The governor supports it and as far as I know it’s going to be a partisan effort,” Robinson said."
No ladies and gentleman, a "pardon" is not the last thing we can do. Education is a never ending effort. It is the facts of the case which must be constantly revealed and taught in our schools and our community.
A pardon is to forgive, exactly who is being pardoned, whites burdened with a racist past? It is certainly not the Scottsboro Defendants which deserve a pardon, they were innocent. How are you going to pardon innocent folks?
To whatever extent politicians and glory seekers try, they can never reverse the past. The purpose of history is to study and learn from it so we will not repeat the mistakes of those who have came before us. Not utilize the suffering of those who were victimized by racism to create publicity.
How much money will be spent in a state strapped for cash by glory seekers attempting to erase historical guilt and possibly violate a separation of judicial and legislative powers?
Excerpts from The Birmingham News
"Sheila Washington, founder of the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center, this week asked Gov. Robert Bentley to clear the names of eight of the nine defendants wrongly convicted of raping two white women in 1931. "They were done wrong, and justice should be corrected," Washington said."

"Her quest has won support from professors, lawyers and legislators. Her letter to Bentley, dated Aug. 15, is co-signed by more than a dozen people, most of them affiliated with universities."

Pardon and Parole Board response: ""We don't grant pardons posthumously," said Greg Griffin, the agency's top lawyer. "We don't have the authority to do it." "

"Washington turned her efforts to Bentley, asking for a pardon even though she believes the term doesn't go far enough. "When you're pardoned, that means you did something wrong," she said. "I prefer the word exonerate." "

How will the Republicans and Democrats react to this political request?

Relatives of the Scottsboro Defendants could ask Governor Bentley for a Pardon, there is a precedent, although the specifics of this law may not pertain: and

Here is a link concerning Pardons in Alabama:

The case which most Americans refer to as the Scottsboro Boys case was a travesty of justice. It was also a demonstration that good people do exist and are willing to stand up for what is right. "The Scottsboro Boys Case" is a legal and historical lesson which some have yet to learn.

UPDATE: August 17 & August 21, 2012- Scottsboro, Al. It appears there is a coalition to pass through the Alabama Legislature a Special Act involving a "Pardon" for "The Scottsboro Boys." Reports indicate this move is supported by many politicians. But is this justice, or a feel good measure to say, "see we are good and righted a wrong." That is an indication of irresponsible government. What is criminal justice without punishment for those who commit the crime?

The crime in this case is not on the part of the Scottsboro Defendants but on the part of racists who caused great suffering on the part of the Scottsboro Defendants and their families. The crime of False Imprisonment and a Violation of Constitutional Rights as a result of personal and institutional racism.

Republican Political support: This so called "Pardon" also gives Republicans in Alabama a chance to say, "see we are not a bunch of racists, we just bash the black President at every opportunity by a pack of lies. We'll make it all better now with this faux attempt at justice," extreme sarcasm intended.

Justice and correction: When or if the Legislature passes this feel good law, the remaining survivors of the Scottsboro Boys should be adequately compensated for wrongful imprisonment and a violation of the defendants Constitutional Rights. $1 million dollars for each year served in prison, by each of the defendants. Paid to and between the surviving next of kin. In the case of no next of kin, the funds should be paid into the Alabama indigent legal defense fund.

According to the Innocence Project, there are 27 states that provide compensation for wrongful imprisonments, Alabama is not one of the states. The State Legislature as an honor to the Scottsboro Defendants should pass a Wrongfully Convicted Compensation Act.

Who should pay the punitive and corrective damages, Jackson County 50% and the State of Alabama 50%? If the defendant died in prison or as a result of the false imprisonment, the additional punitive award of $10 million dollars should be paid per death. That would be a case of responsible justice, not some feel good measure of "bleeding heart liberal white folks," publicity grabbers and politicians seeking glory. The estimated total punitive or compensatory damages which should be paid to the survivors or the indigent justice fund would be between $70 and $80 million dollars plus interest on the monetary award for each surviving relative.

Current controversy due to financial records request. (Case# 39CV2011-0024)
On August 1, 2012 a trial date on all pending issues was scheduled for the Morgan vs Scottsboro Multicultural Foundation, ET AL, case. The case is scheduled for Dec. 13, 2012. 

There is much more which could be said in this case. However, as this article leads off with in Scottsboro's Daily Sentinel regarding the current case before the Jackson County Circuit Court:
"Jackson County Circuit Judge Jenifer Holt restrained both parties in the lawsuit between Garry Morgan and the Scottsboro Multi-Cultural Foundation Board of Directors making any statements about the other while the case is pending. During a 45-minute hearing Thursday, Holt said neither party is to make disparaging remarks against the other in public."

Orders of a Court of Law will not cover up false affidavits and crime in the pending case. So called "faux justice Pardons" do not correct institutional and personal racism evident in the State of Alabama and the current political cycle. The "faux Pardon" will make those who are burdened with white guilt and glory seeking feel much better, however it will have no affect in correcting racism still existing today.  I think political faux justice, white guilt and irresponsibility will probably win once again and Lady Justice will weep.

Opinion Editorial from the Daily Sentinel:

My Letter to the Daily Sentinel concerning the "faux pardon."

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