(CBS News) Alabama granted posthumous pardons on Thursday to three of the Scottsboro Boys, a group of black teenagers whose fight against false charges that they raped two white women in 1931 helped initiate the modern civil rights movement.

The action by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles clears the last of the Scottsboro boys who had yet to be exonerated: Charles Weems, Andy Wright and Haywood Patterson. The three were among nine youths accused of gang-raping two women aboard a freight train in Alabama and convicted by all-white juries in the town of Scottsboro.

The group’s legal journey to fight the convictions and win new trials sparked protests over racial injustice and two landmark rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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