In the spring of 1931, nine black men were arrested for allegedly raping two young white women. Ranging in ages from twelve to twenty years, they were quickly tried and sentenced to the electric chair. News of their convictions spread and the plight of the Scottsboro Boys became a 'cause celebre' that fueled the fire of socialism worldwide, forcing an appeal to the United States Supreme Court and resulting in new trials for all nine defendants. In 1933, a savvy and self-assured defense lawyer, Samuel Leibowitz, agreed to represent the accused at their retrials in Decatur, Alabama. His journey into the Deep South set in motion a legal battle that ultimately changed the course of American jurisprudence.