Connect with us

Buzz

Florida pardons wrongly accused ‘Groveland Four’ after 70 years | News

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

After a dramatic, hour-long meeting, Florida governor Ron DeSantis and the cabinet granted posthumous pardons to four young black men who were tortured, murdered or wrongly imprisoned for the rape of a white woman in 1949. 

The case of the men known as the “Groveland Four” has been documented in a book and is considered a blight on Florida’s history. One of the four was killed before he could be charged and the other three were convicted on dubious evidence.

The families of the men accused of the assault told DeSantis and the Cabinet – meeting as the clemency board – that there is overwhelming evidence the men were innocent and there was no rape.

The woman who was 17 years old when she said she was raped, sat in a wheelchair and later told Governor DeSantis and the Cabinet the rape did indeed happen, saying she was dragged from a car, had a gun put to her head and was told not to scream or they would “blow your brains out”. 

At one point, the two sides briefly clashed. Beverly Robinson, a niece of one of the Groveland Four, was speaking to the governor and the Cabinet when she turned to the woman and her sons.

“It never happened. You all are liars,” Robinson said.

“That’s enough out of you,” the woman said.

“I know it’s enough out of me. It’s always enough when you’re telling the truth,” Robinson replied.

The unanimous vote to pardon came almost two years after the state House and Senate voted to formally apologise to relatives of the Groveland Four and to ask then-Governor Rick Scott to pardon the men.

Scott, now a US senator, never took action. DeSantis replaced Scott on Tuesday and made the pardons a priority.

“I don’t know that there’s any way you can look at this case and think that those ideals of justice were satisfied. Indeed, they were perverted time and time again, and I think the way this was carried out was a miscarriage of justice,” DeSantis said.

The ordeal began in Lake County in 1949, when the then-17-year-old said she had been raped. Three of the men were arrested and severely beaten; a fourth, Ernest Thomas, fled.

A posse of about 1,000 men was formed to hunt down Thomas. He was shot 400 times when they found him sleeping under a tree.

White residents also formed a mob and went to a black neighbourhood, burning houses and firing guns into homes in a disturbance that took days to quell.

All-white jury

Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin and Samuel Shepherd were convicted by an all-white jury. Other evidence that could have exonerated them – such as a doctor’s conclusion that the teen probably wasn’t raped – was withheld at their trial. Greenlee was sentenced to life, and Irvin and Shepherd to death.

Thurgood Marshall, later the first African-American justice on the US Supreme Court, took up Irvin and Shepherd’s appeals for the NAACP, and in 1951 the US Supreme Court ordered new trials.

Just before those trials began, Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall shot Irvin and Shepherd, claiming the handcuffed men tried to escape as he transferred them from prison to a jail. Shepherd died.

Irvin was shot in the neck and survived despite an ambulance refusing to transport him because he was black. He was again convicted, even though a former FBI agent testified that prosecutors manufactured evidence against him.

Charges were never brought against any white law enforcement officers or prosecutors who handled the cases.

Irvin was paroled in 1968 and found dead in his car while returning to Lake County for a funeral a year later.

Greenlee was paroled in 1960 and died in 2012.

Greenlee’s daughter, Carol Greenlee, told DeSantis and the Cabinet that there was overwhelming evidence that her father was innocent.”He was accused, put in jail and tortured for something he didn’t do,” she said.

The woman who said she was raped disputed the families’ stories.

“Y’all just don’t know what kind of horror I’ve been through for all these many years,” she said. “I don’t want them pardoned, no I do not, and you wouldn’t neither. I know (Robinson) called me a liar, but I’m not no liar.”

Afterward, state Senator Gary Farmer, who sponsored the 2017 resolution apologising to the families, said the woman’s comments were disappointing.

“She’s now here at the end of her life and she had a chance to come clean, to seek forgiveness for herself and to support the justice these four families and these four men deserve,” Farmer said.

“It’s very said that she lost this opportunity and continues to perpetuate this lie. This crime did not happen. The evidence is overwhelming.”

Members of the Greenlee family met with reporters after the vote. Carol Greenlee said while the family is grateful for the pardon, she wants her father exonerated.

“I started out with two goals in mind. One, for the world to know the truth, and that is my father is not a rapist. The second was to clear his name, so his children, his grandchildren and nieces and nephews would not continue to walk around with this stigma, with the shame,” she said.

“Those two things were accomplished. And the complete exoneration will close the gap. That’s our mission.”

Despite the pain the family went through, Greenlee’s brother, Wade, said his parents always taught their children to love and not hate.

“If I had an opportunity this morning, I would have told (the accuser) that the Greenlee family has forgiven her a long time ago. We have no hate against her because we were taught differently,” he said.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Buzz

Driver in satisfactory condition following head-on Gatineau collision

Editor

Published

on

By

One person was in hospital in satisfactory condition following a head-on collision between two vehicles in Gatineau on Saturday.

According to Gatineau police, the crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. on Montée Paiement, between Saint-Thomas and Saint-Columban roads.

Each of the vehicles had only one occupant at the time of the incident.

Continue Reading

Buzz

Ottawa military family alleges bad faith eviction by Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada

Editor

Published

on

By

An Ottawa military family alleges their former landlord — Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat in Canada — acted in bad faith when he gave them a notice of eviction, claiming he intended to move into their Vanier rental home with his own family.

The home is now listed for sale for $950,000, two months after Vivian and Tim Funk moved out with their two young children.

In documents filed with the Landlord and Tenant Board, the Funks detailed how their landlord, Sulaiman AlAqeel, acted to end their tenancy by allegedly pretending he was moving in himself. This was preceded by an attempt to market the house to new tenants for significantly more money when the Funks had not given notice indicating they would be leaving, the documents alleged. “The landlord’s representative,” according to the documents, allegedly told the Funks they needed to accept a $500 monthly rent increase and a new lease if they wanted to continue living in the rental property, which wouldn’t be legal under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Continue Reading

Buzz

Ottawa COVID-19 hospitalization data showing half of cases coming from community, not just long-term care

Editor

Published

on

By

With local data showing 50 per cent of COVID-19 hospitalizations coming from the community, long-term care residents aren’t the only one vulnerable to severe illness from the virus, Ottawa’s Board of Health reports.

Despite the majority of deaths having happened in older adult age groups in long-term care homes, residents shouldn’t think institutions are the only settings that are vulnerable to outbreaks that lead to serious illness from the virus.

“[Ottawa Public Health] continues to expand our understanding of the types of settings and situations that have the most impact on COVID-19 transmission in our community and is seeking academic partners to better explore exposure risks as well as a broader assessment of the harms from different public health measures,” OPH outlined in its document, to be present at the Board of Health on Monday.

At the same time, however, OPH says it is working closely with partners on “processes to strengthen and streamline responses.” This includes weekly meetings across agencies to address issues and concerns to ensure a strong collaboration, ongoing communications with facilities, preventative visits and phone calls to review infection prevention and control.

In situations where OPH identified failings at an LTCH or concerns of compliance have been raised, OPH has been quick to issue letters of expectation that outline the deficiencies and timelines fo compliance.

It is unclear how many letters have been issued through both waves of the virus.

And while outbreaks in LTCH during wave two have recorded a higher number of LTCH outbreaks than in wave one, the overall morbidity and mortality has been lower. This means fewer cases, fewer deaths and a lower average duration of outbreaks.

OPH contributed this to building on lessons learned from early COVID-19 outbreaks in LTCH in Ottawa.

https://www.ottawamatters.com/local-news/ottawa-covid-19-hospitalization-data-of-severe-illness-shows-half-of-cases-coming-from-community-not-just-long-term-care-homes-3136152

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending