Scottsboro Trial and the Rights of the Accused

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This resource is an Inquiry Pack to accompany the Safeguards of Justice Timeline on, which examines the rights of the accused and the origins and progression of Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendment rights.

Built around primary sources from the Library of Congress and other collections, this Inquiry Pack facilitates a deep dive into an important aspect of the history of the rights of the accused in the United States.

Each Inquiry Pack includes a background reading, several primary sources (documents, articles, images), discussion questions about the sources, an inquiry question, and an inquiry extension question.

This pack includes the following components:

  • Introduction: The Trial of the Scottsboro Boys
  • The Trial
  • The Supreme Court Weighs In
  • Public Opinion About the Trial
  • Inquiry Question: What can the Scottsboro trial tell us about race and the rights of the accused?
  • Inquiry Extension Question: Review at least one of resource about racial bias in jury selection, then write a summary of the problem and what is being done to address it.
  • Inquiry Question Graphic Organizer

© 2022 Street Law, Inc.

This resource was developed with funding provided by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program. Content created and featured in partnership the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.  

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