Scottsboro "Limited"

[As it appeared in the 16 December 1933 Chicago Defender]

Scottsboro "Limited"

A Radio Drama of a Famous Freight Train Episode

HEARD BY THOUSANDS

Editor's Note--The following dramatization of the now famous Scottsboro case 
was broadcast last Thursday morning by Station WLS in Chicago over the Dr. 
Herman N. Bundesen hour. Dr. Bundesen, president of the Chicago Board of 
Health, speaks every morning in the week over this station at 9 o'clock. It 
was under his personal indorsement that the act, edited by Hayden Roberts, was 
broadcast. Herbert Futran is director of the station. Reproduction of this 
drama is forbidden without the permission of the copyright owners. Person 
interested may write to the Dr. Bundesen hour, care Station WLS, Chicago.

-

CAST

VOICE 1 ... KELLY
SHERIFF ... AL
HEYWOOD ...
GIRL ... GARNER
VOICE 2 ... DWYER
VOICE 3 ... LES
VOICE 4 ... KALAR
JUDGE ... HOLDEN
JURYMAN ... AL
LEIBOWITZ ... EUTRAN
LAWYER ... HENTLY
STENOGRAPHER ... HOLDEN
JUDGE 2 ... CLINE

ROBERTS (Scottsboro, Ala.)--The second defendant in the famous case is 
sentenced to death for the third time. The third time justice is pleading for 
eight Negro boys, justice on her knees, imploring the whole South to be fair, 
to keep her scales evenly balanced. We look back at the very beginning on a 
day in March, 1931.

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

EFFECT--TELEGRAPH KEY

VOICE 1 (Sheriff at Paint Rock, Ala.)--Some black boys threw some whites off a 
fast freight coming out of Chattanooga tonight. They are alone on that train 
with two white girls and another white boy. Hold those boys.

EFFECT--TELEGRAPH KEY

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

SHERIFF -- Come out o' there, nigger!

HEYWOOD -- What you-all want?

SHERIFF -- What did you do with those white girls?

HEYWOOD -- They're back in another car. We ain't been ridin' with 'em.

SHERIFF -- You're a liar!

VOICE 2 -- Sheriff, heah the girls.

GIRL (WHISPERS) -- Gosh, maybe they'll arrest us for riding in a freight 
train. I know what I'll do ... I'll tell 'em the niggers done .... (WHISPERS) 
That'll get me out all right.

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

ROBERTS -- Thus started the famous Scottsboro case. The Negro boys were 
removed to jail at Paint Rock, Ala. Threats by the crowd made it necessary to 
remove the boys to another town. Finally there was the trial day at 
Scottsboro, Ala.

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

EFFECT -- HAPPY CHATTER OF VOICES.

VOICE 3 -- Downright shame....The jury's still out...Never thought it would 
take 'em more'n hour to see those niggers were plain guilty.

VOICE 4 -- No self-respectin' white man would say a black man's innocent, 
'specially when it comes to a charge of attackin' a white girl.

VOICE 3 -- They shouldn't have trials for these blacks.... Should just let us 
take care of 'em.... Throw a rope around a limb of a tree and string 'em up, 
sez I.

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

ROBERTS -- The day for the first trial was treated as a festival. Bands were 
held in readiness, awaiting the verdict of the jury. Then--

MUSIC--ORGAN, FADE AS B. G.

EFFECT -- GAVEL.

JUDGE -- Gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?

JURYMAN -- We have. We, the jury, find the defendants guilty!

MUSIC--ORGAN UP, FADE AS B. G.

JUDGE -- And I sentence you to die in the electric chair!

EFFECT -- CHEERS, YELLS.

VOICE 3 -- Boys, let's go out and raise Ned.... At last these blacks got what 
was coming to them.

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

ROBERTS -- To the supreme court of the United States went the decision of the 
judges. There the case was reviewed and sent back for a new trial, as three 
points were raised by the justices of this highest tribunal.

JUSTICE -- There was not a fair and impartial and deliberate trial. The 
defendants were denied the right of counsel. Qualified Negroes were 
systematically excluded from the jury.

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

ROBERTS -- And again when the case went to trial in April of this year, this 
last point of issue, the exclusion of Negroes from the jury was again raised 
by Lawyer Leibowitz, counsel for the defense.

LEIBOWITZ -- I ask that the indictment against these boys be voided on the 
grounds that Negroes were systematically excluded from the jury rolls.

LAWYER -- That's not so.

LEIBOWITZ -- Have Negroes ever been allowed to serve on the jury rolls? I'll 
ask the court reporter. Did you ever see a Negro on a jury in this county?

STENO. -- I've been serving in this county 21 years and I've never yet seen a 
Negro as a juryman. They wouldn't let them on!

LEIBOWITZ -- And you tell me that these boys are getting a fair trial when you 
won't permit their own people to judge them? If it hadn't been for some people 
who desired to see that justice was done, these boys would have been executed 
-- murdered by you -- long ago -- murdered by your hypocrisy and your hatred!

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

ROBERTS -- Judge James E. Horton of Decatur, Ala., unprejudiced, fearless, 
representing the law in every just meaning of the word, allowed the complete 
presentation of all phases of the case. Ruby Bates swore that no Negro touched 
her -- thus repudiating her testimony of the first trial. Victoria Price, the 
other girl, full of hate and venom, her tragic misspent life, and with a long 
police record, discredited completely, persisted in accusing Heywood 
Patterson. Judge Horton charged the jury, he begged for fairness, he begged 
for consideration of all the evidence. If there is a reasonable doubt, but in 
Decatur, Ala., a white man's jury ... a Negro accused means only one verdict, 
guilty! The punishment, death! Before the other men were tried, Judge Horton 
verifying that the defense counsel had made statements concerning the case 
which would make the verdict of death certain for the other seven defendants, 
postponed the trial indefinitely.

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

ROBERTS (Scottsboro, Ala.) -- The third trial. The whole world is watching. 
Threats of violence are heard.

EFFECT -- ANGRY CROWD, MURMUR.

VOICE 3 -- Ain't no [eal?] foolin' around longer.... Us southerners don't need 
no smart lawyers or law books to tell us what to do.

EFFECT -- CROWD, NOISES.

VOICE 4 -- That jury in there better bring in a verdict of guilty and send 
those niggers to the chair.

EFFECT -- CROWD INCREASING.

VOICE 3 -- That's the only thing any self-respectin' southerner can do. And if 
the jury won't do it, I guess we know what we'll do, don't we?

EFFECT -- CROWD.

VOICE 3 -- And soldiers or no soldiers we'll do it!

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

ROBERTS -- Meanwhile, in the courthouse, the trial opens. Ruby Bates, one of 
the girls who accused the Negroes is ill. Her testimony hinges the case of the 
boys. Attorney Leibowitz pleads for time.

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

LEIBOWITZ -- Your honor, I ask for time to secure the deposition of Ruby 
Bates, whose testimony is necessary for our case.

JUDGE 2 -- I won't give you any time. Get it in right away. I want speed. I'm 
going to get done with this case in three days.

LEIBOWITZ -- But, you honor, justice demands.

JUDGE 2 -- I said I'm going to get done with this case in three days.

MUSIC--ORGAN UP AND FADE AS B. G.

ROBERTS -- And the judge keeps his promise. Last week one defendant was 
sentenced to death for the third time. Yesterday the second defendant was 
sentenced to death. Tomorrow or the next day the third, until eight men are to 
be sentenced to death. The defense has submitted proof of prejudice. Judge 
Callahan says "no." The defense submits evidence that Negroes are excluded 
from the jury rolls. Judge Callahan says "no." Is this another Sacco and 
Vanzetti, more horrible, more fearful in its consequences that is in the 
making at Scottsboro today?


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Originally broadcast: 14 December 1933 

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