Scottsboro Boys Trials
Search using this query type:

Search only these record types:

Advanced Search (Items only)

Click "+" or here for advanced options.

Letter from Miguel Ortega and Justo Berenguer in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, to Hon. Gobernardor de Alabama, Alabama.

Documents

http://betatesting.as.ua.edu/scottsboroboysletters/plugins/img_dump/SB_L_1932.06.20_0720_01.jpg

Title

Letter from Miguel Ortega and Justo Berenguer in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, to Hon. Gobernardor de Alabama, Alabama.

Subject

Scottsboro Trial, Scottsboro, Ala., 1931; African Americans--Civil rights--Alabama; African Americans--Imprisonment--Alabama; Miller, Benjamin Meek, 1864-1944; Communism in Puerto Rico

Description

Two Puerto Rican communists plead with the Governor to postpone the execution of the Scottsboro Boys. The letter makes the case for postponement by advocating against the death penalty in all contexts and asks the Governor to show mercy for his own "peace of mind."

Creator

Ortega, Miguel and Justo Berenguer

Source

Alabama Governor, Scottsboro Case appeals to the Governor, SG004237, Folder 7, Alabama Dept. of Archives and History

Date

1932-06-20

Format

Letter

Language

Spanish

Coverage

Puerto Rico--Cabo Rojo

Transcription

Cabo Rojo, P.R.,
20 de junio de 1932.

Hon. Gobernador de Alabama,
Alabama,

Senor:

De acuerdo con la decision de las cortes seran ajus-
ticiados un grupo de jovenes negres dentro de podos dias.
Senor, en estos momentos en que el mundo entero se agita
y se precipita al borde de una revolucion social se impo-
ne un sereno y ecuanime proceder. No creemos que sea la
forma mas correcta y adecuada de llevar a la silla elec-
trica a esos jovenes negros para que de esa manera se
les castigue por un delito cometido. Creemos firmemente
que un delito no se lava ni se esruma su aureola de mal-
dad con otro delito como lo es el de matar a quien mata.
Mataron esos jovenes negros a alguien? No lo sabemos.
Pero cualquiera que haya sido su delito, no debe aparejar-
le la pena capital habida cuenta de que es un delito mayor
el que se comete cuando sun piedad y misericordia alguna
son llevados a la silla electrica.
En nombre de la santa libertad, en nombre de los
mas puros sentimientos de humanidad, en nombre toda esa
democracia de que se vanagloria el pueblo americano, tened
piedad y misericordia, senor, de esos jovenes negros. Or-
denad, senor, que se posponga la ejeccion de ellos para
que vuestra conciencia no os acuse de un mal peor que el
que esas pobres victimas hayan causado a la sociedad.
Nosotros protestamos energicamente contra ese acto
cruel de matar en nombre de la justicia. Eso no es humano,
senor. Eso es retroceder a la barbarie. Eso es aumentar
el caos social en que se desenvuelve este mundo. Oid nue-
tra suplica no por el bien que se pueda hacer a esos des-
graciados, sino por la tranquilidad vuestra.

Por el grupo comunista,
Miguel Ortega
Jinto Berenguer

Translation

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
June 20, 1932

Honorable Governor of Alabama
Alabama
Sir:
In accordance with the decision of the courts, a group of young, Negro men will be brought to justice in a few days. Sir, in these times when the entire world is agitated and on the verge of a social revolution, this course of action is being taken coldly and without feeling. We do not believe it is correct to send these young men to the electric chair for the crime committed. We do not believe their alleged crime to be as serious as the taking of another human life.
In the name of holy liberty, in the name of the purest human sentiments, in the name of the democracy in which the American people take pride, take pity upon and have mercy with these young Negroes, sir. Postpone their execution so that your conscience does not accuse you, sir, of a crime worse than that which these poor victims may have caused society.
We vigorously protest this cruel act of execution in the name of justice. This action is not human, sir. It is a return to barbarism. It will increase the chaos into which the world is now descending. Hear our plea, not for the good it may do for these unfortunates, but rather for the sake of your own peace.
For the communist group,
Miguel Ortega
Justo Berenguer