Ala. Legislature votes to pardon Scottsboro Boys
In a final chapter to one of the most important civil rights episodes in American history, Alabama lawmakers voted unanimously Thursday to posthumously pardon the Scottsboro Boys, nine black teens wrongly convicted of raping two white women more than 80 years ago. The bill setting up a procedure to pardon the group must be signed by Gov. Robert Bentley to become law. He plans to study the legislation but has said he favors the pardons. All but the youngest member of the group, whose ages ranged from 13 to 19, were sent to death row after false accusations from the women and convictions by all-white juries. All eventually were freed. The case became synonymous with racial injustice and set important legal precedents, including a Supreme Court decision that outlawed the practice of excluding black people from juries.
Thousands protest in West Bank
Thousands of outraged Palestinians took to the streets of the West Bank on Thursday, joining funeral processions and demonstrations after two protesters were killed by Israeli troops and a Palestinian prisoner died of cancer in Israeli custody. The unrest clouded an upcoming visit by Secretary of State John Kerry and underscored the difficult task he faces as he tries to restart peace talks. The demonstrations were among the largest in months and came amid rising violence. But officials on both sides urged calm, and by nightfall, the situation appeared to be quieting.
Craigslist killer gets death penalty
A self-styled street preacher was sentenced to death Thursday in the killings of three down-and-out men lured by bogus job offers posted on Craigslist. The jury that convicted Richard Beasley of murder recommended that he face execution. The judge had the option of reducing the sentence to life in prison. Beasley, 53, was convicted of teaming up with a teenager in 2011 to use the promise of jobs on a southeast Ohio farm to lure men into robberies. Three men were killed, and a fourth who was wounded testified at Beasley's trial.
Photos implicate student in rape
A Cornell University wrestler accused of raping another student as she slept was arrested after the victim's companion snapped pictures of him lying on the bed, his pants partway down, and then looked his name up on the athletic department website, police say. Peter Mesko, 22, of Hones- dale, Pa., was charged Tuesday with first-degree rape in an attack police said took place off campus early Saturday. Mesko was freed on $5,000 bail.