Criminal Justice Advocacy in Action

One of the most important examples of criminal justice advocacy and action in the twentieth century was the national and international campaign to free the Scottsboro Nine, who were wrongfully convicted and given death sentences for rape of two white women. Between 1930 and 1949 the campaign coincided with the launching of efforts to bring about the release of the Trenton Six in New Jersey in 1948–Black men unfairly tried and convicted of murder and referred to at the time as “Scottsboro North.” There was the death sentence imposed on Matt Ingram in 1950 for “reckless eyeballing” a white woman in North Carolina. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, there was the national and international campaign to “Free Angela Davis.” And in the late 1970s the mobilization to “Free Joan Little,” falsely accused of the murder of a jail guard who attacked her, garnered support from social activists and feminist groups across the country. More recently, police violence and murder of African American men, women, and children led to the formation of Black Lives Matter, the Movement for Black Lives, Black Youth Project 100, and other groups that have protested and called for reforming and even “defunding the police.” Such protests escalated and took place globally following the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020. Social Justice campaigns in the past and present have raised awareness of racial injustice and turned this awareness into action.



Links- Related Organizations

  • The National Bail Out Collective

The National Bail Out Collective is committed to getting our people free through bail outs, advocacy, and leadership development.

It is a kit designed primarily for U.S.-based community organizers already working toward abolition and our allies. However, we hope it will be useful even for people who may not have thought much about abolition or who feel unsure about how useful it is as a goal.

One person, no vote by Carol Anderson