Trump’s Use of Scottsboro Boys Case Comparability Raises Eyebrows and Ire of Choose

Former President Donald Trump, identified for his gaslighting statements and actions to gasoline the hearth of racism, drew criticism from a federal choose for invoking the 1931 Scottsboro Boys case in a bid to delay his upcoming election interference trial.

Trump’s authorized crew cited the landmark Supreme Court docket choice associated to the Scottsboro case, arguing that particular counsel Jack Smith wasn’t permitting enough time for trial preparation. 

U.S. District Choose Tanya Chutkan swiftly rejected the comparability and scheduled Trump’s trial for March 2024, someday earlier than Tremendous Tuesday. The choose emphasised that the case’s timeline didn’t replicate undue haste and identified Trump’s entry to a succesful authorized crew and ample assets for a radical protection. 

Trump at present faces 4 costs within the election interference case, together with conspiring to defraud america and obstructing an official continuing—costs beforehand filed towards these concerned within the January 6, 2021, Capitol breach. 

He has pleaded not responsible. 

The 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner at present faces 91 felony costs in 4 jurisdictions – New York, Washington, Florida, and Georgia – most associated to his loss to Joe Biden in 2020. If convicted on all counts, Trump might obtain a greater than 800-year jail sentence. As a result of complexity of the election interference case in Washington, John Lauro, Trump’s legal professional, expressed concern that the trial date would compromise the previous president’s proper to efficient authorized counsel. 

However Chutkan scolded the attorneys, and the twice impeached, four-times indicted Trump, whom earlier this 12 months a civil jury discovered chargeable for sexual assault. She cited the Supreme Court docket’s Scottsboro Boys ruling on the time, saying, “The courtroom famous {that a} sizable crowd greeted the defendants at Scottsboro after their arrest and that the group’s angle was considered one of nice hostility. The defendants’ trials started six days after indictment. The Supreme Court docket discovered that there was a transparent denial of due course of as a result of the trial courtroom failed to offer the defendants’ affordable time and alternative to safe counsel, and the defendants have been incapable of adequately making their very own protection.” 

Chutkan continued: “Trump is represented by a crew of zealous, skilled attorneys and has the assets essential to effectively assessment the invention and examine. I’ve seen many instances unduly delayed as a result of a defendant lacks enough illustration or can’t correctly assessment discovery as a result of they’re detained. That’s not the case right here.” 

The Scottsboro Boys rape instances symbolize the darkish racist a part of American historical past the place 9 Black youths have been falsely accused of raping two white ladies in 1931 whereas touring on a prepare close to Scottsboro, Alabama. The accusations led to trials with all-white juries. Clarence Norris, Charlie Weems, Haywood Patterson, Olen Montgomery, Ozie Powell, Willie Roberson, Eugene Williams, and Andy Wright have been all tried, convicted, and sentenced to demise. One other defendant, Roy Wright, noticed his trial finish in a mistrial when some jurors held out for a demise sentence although the prosecution requested for all times imprisonment. 

Through the years, appeals and retrials happened, ultimately resulting in the 1932 Supreme Court docket ruling in Powell v. Alabama, which confused the significance of granting defendants enough time for authorized counsel and trial preparation. This ruling and the 1935 Supreme Court docket case Norris v. Alabama performed a vital position in advancing the reason for racially numerous juries. 

Alabama ultimately dropped rape costs towards 5 of the Scottsboro Boys, and Norris, one of many accused, acquired a posthumous pardon from Gov. George Wallace in 1976. In 2013, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles issued posthumous pardons to the three Scottsboro Boys who had not beforehand acquired or had their convictions overturned. 

“It was stunningly silly,” retired California Superior Court docket Choose LaDoris Hazzard Cordell advised CNN of Trump invoking the Scottsboro Boys case. “As a result of one, the comparability is ridiculous. However second, if you wish to alienate a choose within the case, this was precisely what to do. A feminine choose, a Black choose, and to speak about that case and examine it to Trump’s case was absurd.”