Haywood Patterson

Haywood Patterson (1912-1952) was one of nine defendants in the infamous Scottsboro Trials of 1931. He and eight other Black men were wrongly accused of raping two white women, and their convictions by all-white juries were egregious examples of Alabama's racist judicial system. Patterson was convicted a total of four times, and his appeal made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1935 case Patterson v. Alabama. Although he was not exonerated, the case set the precedent that it was unlawful to exclude Black people from juries in the state. Patterson died of cancer in prison in Michigan at age thirty-nine.

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