The jury was composed solely of white people who did not represent any interest on the part of the black men. (“Powell v. Alabama (1932)”, n.d.)
The legal representatives of the accused were convinced that their clients were done a disservice by the state courts and decided to appeal their case before the U.S. Supreme Court where they called the validity of the sentences into question based upon the way the case was handled in court. The main issues they wished to have the court resolve (Powell v. Alabama, n.d.) boiled down to the following:
Although the Alabama Supreme Court, where the appeal was first filed, had ruled on a count of 6-1 that the jury trial was fair and impartial, the defense refused to accept this decision and brought the case all the way up to the United States Supreme Court.
“Where the defendant is unable to employ counsel, and is incapable of making his own defense… it is the duty of the court, whether requested or not, to assign counsel for him as a necessary requisite of due process of law. and that duty is not discharged by an assignment at such a time or under such circumstances as to preclude the giving of effective aid in the preparation and trial of the case.”
Based upon the aforementioned argument, it became very clear that there was a miscarriage of justice in Powell v. Alabama as evidenced by the way the counsel for the defense was withheld until only a few hours before the trial was to begin. This act prevented the accused from receiving due counsel and an effective and well prepared defense in the process. It was therefore the opinion of the Supreme Court that the 14th Amendment was violated and the sentences of the accused were overturned.
It was the opinion of the court that due to the hostile circumstances existing in Alabama, accompanied by the illiterate status of the accused, isolation from their families,