• Last updated on November 11, 2022

In its second Scottsboro rape decision, the Supreme Court held that the African American defendants had been denied a fair trial because African Americans had been systematically excluded from juries.

In Powell v. Alabama[case]Powell v. Alabama[Powell v. Alabama] (1932), the Supreme Court ruled that the conviction of the “Scottsboro boys,” a group of young African American men, without effective assistance of counsel violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process requirement. After defendant Clarence Norris was sentenced to death in a second trial, his lawyers presented evidence of systematic racial exclusion from both the grand jury and trial jury. Writing for a unanimous Court, Chief Justice Charles Evans HughesHughes, Charles Evans;Norris v. Alabama[Norris v. Alabama] reversed the conviction as inconsistent with the due process and equal protection clauses. In both Powell and Norris, the justices ruled on the basis of immutable principles of justice and declined the opportunity to make the Sixth Amendment explicitly binding on the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.African Americans;juries[juries]Jury, trial by;Norris v. Alabama[Norris v. Alabama]Jury composition and size;Norris v. Alabama[Norris v. Alabama]African Americans;juries[juries]

Bates v. State Bar of Arizona

Due process, procedural

Duncan v. Louisiana

Incorporation doctrine

Jury composition and size

Powell v. Alabama

Race and discrimination

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