After the ten were arrested, they spent the night in the Rock Hill jail before they were put on trial on February 1, 1961. Reverend Cecil Ivory, who was the Rock Hill representative for the NAACP, took it upon himself to get the students a well-respected African American attorney to represent them. He got one of the best.
Ernest A. Finney acted as their attorney and throughout his career has developed an excellent track-record. He later became the first African American Supreme Court Justice appointed to the South Carolina Supreme Court. None of the protestors or the adults that were helping them through the process wanted to plead guilty – bottom line is, they were not guilty of breaking any law.
But they were still found guilty solely because of race issues and were sentenced to $100 bail or 30 days of hard labor in the York County Prison Farm. The charges placed on them were trespassing and breach of the peace.
Only one student, who was Charles Taylor, asked to pay bail because he was afraid of losing his basketball scholarship. The rest refused to pay bail as a statement that they were not guilty, and also putting the financial burden in the hands of the policy makers instead of the NAACP.
This tactic not only proved this strong statement, but it also made the racist society and institution pay for this movement instead of the Civil Rights activists paying the racist society and institution.
They were immediately taken to the Prison Farm and began serving their time under a racially biased staff of police officers – their work load was almost twice as much as all other prisoners.