On March 25, 1931, nine black youths were falsely accused of raping two white women on a freight train in Scottsboro, Alabama. Eight of the nine youths were convicted and sentenced to death within a month. In this letter Dr. P. A. Stephens, a black physician and president of the Methodist Episcopal Church Layman’s Association, asks the NAACP for assistance. The NAACP vied with the International Labor Defense for the right to represent the “Scottsboro Boys” in the retrials. The NAACP lost the bid because it lacked a full-time legal staff, spurring Executive Secretary Walter White to hire Charles H. Houston and set up a legal department. There were a total of eleven trials, two before the Supreme Court. Five of the Scottsboro Boys were convicted; Charles Weems was paroled in 1943, Ozie Powell and Clarence Norris in 1946, and Andy Wright in 1944, but returned to prison after violating parole and was released in 1950. Haywood Patterson escaped from prison in 1948, and fled to Detroit, Michigan. He was convicted of manslaughter in 1950 and died of cancer in prison two years later. Norris, paroled in 1946, violated his parole and fled to New York, where he lived as a fugitive until he was pardoned by the Alabama Pardons and Parole Board in 1976.