November 28, 2021

“Groveland Four” Exonerated for 1949 Rape of White Teenage Girl

A decide has exonerated the harmless Black males referred to as the “Groveland Four,” who have been accused of raping a white lady in 1949.

The boys have been falsely accused 72 years in the past of raping 17-year-old Norma Padgett in Groveland, Florida, on July sixteenth, 1949. Padgett and her husband claimed the group ambushed them when their automotive broke down on a rustic street and assaulted {the teenager}. The 4 Black males accused have been Charles Greenlee, Samuel Shepherd, Walter Irvin, and Ernest Thomas. Sadly, Thomas was shot over 400 instances by an indignant white mob earlier than he stood trial. Regardless of Padgett’s story being sketchy from the beginning, Greenlee, who was simply 16, was sentenced to life in jail, whereas Shepherd and Irvin obtained the dying penalty. Whereas being transported from county jail for a retrial, the sheriff on the time shot Shepherd and Irvin, claiming self-defense. Shepherd died from his accidents, and Irvin survived by enjoying useless. His sentence was commuted to life in jail.

On Monday, Circuit Choose Heidi Davis formally pardoned the boys following State Lawyer Invoice Gladson’s movement to exonerate them final month, citing new proof that cleared their names. Gladson referred to as the case “a complete breakdown of the criminal justice system.”

One key piece of proof that the case relied closely on was a stain on Irvin’s pants that was assumed to be semen. Nevertheless, there was no manner of testing the pants in 1949. Latest DNA checks concluded that the stain was not semen.

Relations of the boys have been current within the courtroom, many of whom cried and cheered after the ruling.

Aaron Newson, Thomas’ nephew, stated he hopes that the exoneration permits for others to have their circumstances re-examined.

“A lot of families didn’t get this opportunity. Maybe they will. This country needs to come together.”

In 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued full posthumous pardons to the “Groveland Four.”