In 1931 two young white women accused nine black youths of sexually assaulting them on an Alabama train. They became known as the Scottsboro Boys, and all were found guilty and sentenced to death, barring one thirteen-year-old boy, sentenced to life in prison. All appealed the decision which would eventually go to the Supreme Court under the representation of Sam Liebowitz (played by Timothy Hutton), a New York lawyer viewed by Southerners as a meddling Northern Jew. When one of the girls recanted her testimony, what followed was a 20 year campaign for justice that would ultimately see all the sentences overturned.
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