The SLDC was an organization whose objective was to get the 38th Street boys out of the San Quentin prison. The committee began its campaign for justice by gaining public support. Chairmen raised money to hire an attorney. The chairmen provided vital leadership to the cause. A famous activist and writer named Carey McWilliams planned an effective strategy to publicize the case. He delivered various eloquent speeches on behalf of the 38th Street boys to surrounding community groups that seemed sympathetic to general youth. Alice Greenfield, the committee’s executive secretary, wrote a newsletter describing the daily operations. The committee told the press that the trial was unfair and that Judge Charles William Fricke was biased. Greenfield’s biggest contribution to the cause was the friendships she formed with each of the defendants during her numerous visits to them in jail. The SLDC was also joined with many activists.
The SLDC wanted an appeal, which is a request to review a trial. The committee members felt that the trial given to the 38th Street Boys was unfair because of the biases at the time, such as prejudices held against Mexican-American and African-American communities. To request this appeal, the committee had to convince the citizens of Los Angeles that the 38th Street boys were not the cause of the Sleepy Lagoon murder. After reviewing the trial, the SLDC created three arguments to change the minds of the citizens. The first argument was that the trial was led by a biased judge and jury. They accused the judge, Charles Fricke, of using racial profiling. The second claim they made argued that the citizens of Los Angeles were acting as “Hitler’s secret weapon” because the people weren’t doing anything to help minority groups. The government had influenced the citizens’ beliefs like Hitler had around this time period. The final argument was that the public officials assumed that José Diaz was murdered by the 38th street boys when there was no hard evidence. The boys could only hope that someone would step in and offer another point of view.
The SLDC’s mission to free the 38th Street boys was a long and grueling one. A man named Ben Margolis made an appeal to the Second District Court and declared the boys’ trial unfair. This man got Hank Levas and many others out of their life sentence in prison. Even though they were free after the appeal, life wasn't easy. They may have been released from prison, but they weren’t released from the crime. The 38th Street Boys’ reputation and history remained with them long after the trial and into future ones. Most of the boys had a rough life thereafter, and it was not the last time they’d go to jail. But the victory they’d achieved with the SLDC, to them, made all the difference. It meant that there was hope for a better future.