Scottsboro Boys get posthumous pardons

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Lawmakers voted Thursday to issue posthumous pardons to nine black teens who were wrongly convicted of raping two white women more than 80 years ago based on false accusations.

The bill setting up a procedure to pardon the group known as the Scottsboro Boys must be signed by Governor Robert Bentley to become law. He plans to study the legislation but has said he favors the pardons.

All but the youngest member of the group, whose ages ranged from 13 to 19, were sent to death row after their convictions by all-white juries, though all were eventually freed without executions. The case became synonymous with racial injustice and set important legal precedents. The last of the men died in 1989.


The House approved the legislation Thursday morning in a 103-0 vote. The measure earlier passed the Senate 29-0.

‘‘This is a great for Alabama. It was long overdue,’’ said Representative Laura Hall, Democrat of Huntsville.