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American Constitutional and Legal History 18.docx

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Boston College
LAWS 2180
Alan Rogers

Powell v.Alabama (1932) • 8 Scottsborough boys were accused of murder: hopped on a train and fought half a dozen white males: threw them off the freight train. 2 young women were still on the train dressed as men. Police met the freight train when it stopped because the white males turned it in.Arrested for rape however because the two young women claimed rape in order to not be arrested for crossing state lines illegally. The only thing that mattered to the sheriff was that they were raped. The prisoners had to be protected by national guard troops in order to prevent a lynch mobs. The black males did not have a lawyer, even though they had a right to an attorney. All eight of the men are convicted in one day and sentenced to death. NAACP appealed to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court decided they did not have attorneys because of how poor their performance does. The 14 Amendment applies here because of deprivation of life liberty and property. Therefore they overturn theAlabama conviction. 4 trials follow and each one of them result in a conviction. Despite the fact there was overwhelming evidence • 1942: Johnson v. Zerbst: person convicted in a federal court does have a right to council (6 Amendment) • Gideon v. Wainwright (1963): in and out of jail for petty crimes: involved in an all-night poker game. Won a little money. Someone stole a few
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