Newshour: Forrest McClendon on the Scottsboro Boys' pardon by BBC World Service Radio published on 2013/11/22 14:03:54 +0000 The US state of Alabama has granted posthumous pardons to three black teenagers wrongly accused of raping two white girls on a train in 1931. There were actually nine young men involved in this case - and they were known as the Scottsboro Boys. The nine boys had an argument with some white youths on the freight train passing through Alabama. When the train stopped at Scottsboro it turned out two white women were with the Scottsboro Boys and they falsely said that they had been raped. Although one of the women recanted her story in court, the nine were still sentenced to death by all-white juries. Five of the accused teenagers had their convictions overturned on appeal but three didn't and they are the ones that have now been pardoned. It was a huge case that helped spark the US Civil Rights movement and the story of the Scottsboro Boys inspired a musical which as it happens in running the London at the moment. Newshour's Owen Bennett Jones spoke to Forrest McClendon, the Tony Award-winning actor who plays the lawyer who tried to defend the Scottsboro boys back in 1931.