Alabama lawmakers vote to posthumously pardon Scottsboro Boys wrongly convicted of 1931 rape

State seeks to repair legacy of racial injustice

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama lawmakers voted to posthumously pardon the “Scottsboro Boys” -- nine black teens who were wrongly convicted of raping two white women in 1931.

The conviction of the Scottsboro Boys is one of America's most infamous racial tragedies. Alabama is now moving to repair its own legacy and secure the teens’ legacy by correcting past injustices with a bill to allow posthumous pardons for the group.

On Thursday, the state House voted 103-0 in favor of legislation setting up a procedure to pardon the teens, who were falsely accused of rape by two white women in 1931 in Scottsboro, Ala. The Senate had passed the bill earlier, 29-0. Gov. Robert Bentley has indicated he will sign it.

The Senate sponsor, Republican Arthur Orr, says it's unfortunate the pardons are coming after all the Scottsboro Boys have died -- but the bill lets Alabama write a "better final chapter."