Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a bill posthumously pardoning a group of black youths who were wrongfully convicted of raping two white women more than 80 years ago.
Bentley Friday signed House Joint Resolution 20, formally exonerating the nine boys who ranged from 13 to 19-years-old. The ceremony was held at the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center.
Eugene Williams, Haywood Patterson, Charles Weems, Clarence Norris, Andy Wright, Ozzie Powell, Olen Montgomery, Roy Wright, and Will Roberson were accused in 1931 and were convicted by an all-white jury.
All nine, except for the youngest, were sentenced to death although one woman recanted her story and said she fabricated the rape allegations. They all were eventually released from prison.
Bentley says the state can't take back what happened, but can make it right moving forward. He said the bill was the result of a bipartisan effort.
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