November 22, 2013

The Scottsboro Boys

"'The Scottsboro Boys have finally received justice,' [Alabama] Gov. Robert J. Bentley said in a statement." – from the NYT's coverage of the Scottsboro Boys official pardoning.

No – it's crucial to remember that the Scottsboro Boys will never receive justice (they're all dead, for one thing). This act (which I applaud) only officially recognizes injustice, it can never (as noted in the article) put the injustice right.

This seems to me a fair summary, except for the bit about "correcting the wrong", which is presumably there to make people feel better about it all: "'Today is a reminder that it is never too late to right a wrong. We cannot go back in time and change the course of history, but we can change how we respond to history,' Mr. Orr said. 'The passage of time and doing nothing is no excuse. This hearing marks a significant milestone for these young men, their families and for our great state by officially recognizing and correcting a tremendous wrong.'" – State Senator Arthur Orr, in the same article.

The real question is, can Alabama be pardoned for its actions?

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