Florida governor pardons ‘Groveland Four,’ wrongly convicted of rape in 1949 – CNN

(CNN)Four black men are now officially free nearly 70 years after they were wrongly accused of raping a 17-year-old white girl.

In 1949, Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd and Ernest Thomas were accused of sexually assaulting Norma Padgett in Groveland, Florida, about 30 miles west of Orlando. The group came to be called the “Groveland Four.”
There were doubts about Padgett’s testimony from the onset, but in the era of Jim Crow, a jury convicted the men without evidence of a crime.
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued full posthumous pardons to the men on Friday.
“For seventy years, these four men have had their history wrongly written for crimes they did not commit. As I have said before, while that is a long time to wait, it is never too late to do the right thing,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I believe the rule of law is society’s sacred bond. When it is trampled, we all suffer. For the Groveland Four, the truth was buried. The Perpetrators celebrated. But justice has cried out from that day until this.”
The pardons were unanimously approved by the Executive Clemency Board, a release from the new governor’s office says.

Source: Florida governor pardons ‘Groveland Four,’ wrongly convicted of rape in 1949 – CNN

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