Entries tagged with “Martinsville Seven

Policy Issues

Race

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Clemency

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Sep 03, 2021

Martinsville 7’ Granted Posthumous Pardons 70 Years After Their Executions

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has posthu­mous­ly par­doned sev­en young Black men who were sen­tenced to death by all-white juries and exe­cut­ed in Virginia sev­en decades ago on charges of rap­ing a white woman. Following years of advo­ca­cy from fam­i­ly mem­bers and oth­er advo­cates who pushed for guber­na­to­r­i­al action, Northam announced the posthu­mous par­dons on August 31, 2021, sur­pris­ing the fam­i­ly mem­bers and advo­cates who had come to the capi­tol expect­ing to per­son­al­ly meet with the gov­er­nor to plead their case.

Policy Issues

Race

,

Jan 21, 2021

New Podcast: Martinsville 7’ Advocates Seek Posthumous Pardon for 7 Black Men Executed by Virginia After All-White Jury Convicted Them of Raping a White Woman

In February 1951, Virginia exe­cut­ed sev­en Black men on charges they had raped a white woman two years ear­li­er. The Martinsville 7” — Francis DeSales Grayson, Frank Hairston Jr., Howard Hairston, James Luther Hairston, Joe Henry Hampton, Booker T. Millner, and John Clabon Taylor — were inter­ro­gat­ed by police with­out the appoint­ment of legal coun­sel and, under threats that they would be released to a lynch mob, con­fessed to involve­ment in the rape. After a suc­ces­sion of per­func­to­ry tri­als before all-white, all-male juries, each was con­vict­ed and sen­tenced to death.…