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December 08, 2014

Aren’t The Folks Who Got This Done Just “Apologists For Rape Culture"

Most decent human beings would argue that the issuance of this pardon was a matter of justice and setting the record straight – but given the current crisis about “rape culture”, isn't this failure to “believe the victims” a travesty to be denounced by “victim advocates”?

More than 80 years after they were falsely accused and wrongly convicted in the rapes of a pair of white women in north Alabama, three black men received posthumous pardons on Thursday, essentially absolving the last of the “Scottsboro Boys” of criminal misconduct and closing one of the most notorious chapters of the South’s racial history.

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously during a hearing in Montgomery to issue the pardons to Haywood Patterson, Charles Weems and Andy Wright, all of whom were repeatedly convicted of the rapes in the 1930s.

Of course, anyone with even a small amount of historical knowledge knows about the Scottsboro Boys. But since historical ignorance – along with legal ignorance – is the order of the day among many Americans, let’s recap who they were and why this pardon was necessary.

The men were among the group of nine teenagers who were first tried in April 1931 after a fight between blacks and whites aboard a train passing through Jackson County, in Alabama’s northeastern corner, led to allegations of sexual assault. Within weeks of the reported rapes, an Alabama judge had sentenced eight of them to death following their convictions by all-white juries. The trial of the youngest defendant, Roy Wright, ended in a hung jury amid a dispute about whether he should be executed, and he was never retried.

The United States Supreme Court intervened the following year, setting off a long stretch of additional appeals and trials, including one in 1933 where Ruby Bates, one of the accusers, recanted her story.

Prosecutors dropped the rape charges against five of the men in July 1937, but four others — including those pardoned on Thursday — were convicted again and initially sentenced to death or decades in prison.

Of course, people of an earlier generation were concerned with little things like truth and justice. Today’s “advocates” against “rape culture” who demand that we “believe the victim” don’t care about those things. Instead they take a position not to different from those who demanded that the authorities “believe the victims” of the Scottsboro Boys and exact the harshest available punishment against them –the Ku Klux Klan.

H/T to Instapundit, who pointed to Hot Air’s link to Brendan O’Neill’s piece at NRO, An Ivy League Lynch Mob.





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