SCOTTSBORO, AL (WZDX) - The nine Scottsboro boys officially received pardons on Thursday.
"I think it was a long time coming. I think a lot of people will feel joy that the state of Alabama made this move," said Loretta Tolliver from the Scottsboro Boys Museum.
Tolliver says she has been waiting for this day for a long time. She serves on the board of directors at the museum.
"We believe that this case on March 31st, 1931 was the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, so it is a very important moment in history," said Tolliver.
On Thursday morning, the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles approved posthumous pardons for the last three convictions in the infamous "Scottsboro Boys" rape case. The board made the decision during a hearing in Montgomery.
Nine, young black men were falsely accused of raping two white women on a train in Jackson County in 1931. Five of the cases were overturned in 1937 and one man received a pardon before his death in 1976.
"They're getting their day to have their names cleared, so I think it's a wonderful day," said Tolliver.
Last April, Governor Robert Bentley formally exonerated the Scottsboro Boys by signing Senate Bill 97 and House Resolution 20. That, coupled with the parole board's decision, is finally bringing closure.
"I think all nine of them, their spirits can rest in peace because this is finally done," said Tolliver.
The Scottsboro Boys Museum in Jackson County has been open for four years. Just this year alone, 1,000 people visited the museum. Several of them came from Germany and Australia.