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Florida Finally Apologizes for Legal “Lynching” and Murder of Groveland Four

The wheels of Justice only took 70 years this time… Took about 15 minutes to convict the boys of something they couldn’t possibly have done.

70 years to admit a wrong that only took 15 minutes to commit.

‘We’re truly sorry’: Fla. apologizes for racial injustice of 1949 ‘Groveland Four’ rape case

In the summer of 1949, a 17-year-old white girl named Norma Padgett accused four black men of kidnapping her from a dark road in central Florida and then, in the back seat of their car, taking turns raping her.

Neighbors quietly doubted the girl’s version of events, and others speculated that the elaborate, detailed account was merely a coverup for the bruises she’d collected from her husband’s suspected beatings.

But this was the era of Jim Crow, in the middle of Lake County, where the local economy was sustained by orange groves that white men relied on black men to nurture.

And there to ensure law and order was Willis V. McCall, a sheriff buoyed by his segregationist, union-busting, white supremacist reputation.

Within days of Padgett’s accusations, three black men from the city of Groveland were in jail and a fourth, Ernest Thomas, was dead, shot and killed by an angry mob — led by McCall — who had chased him 200 miles into the Panhandle. In Groveland, black-owned homes were shot up and burned, sparking chaos so intense the governor eventually sent in the National Guard.

Based on little evidence, a jury quickly convicted the living three.

Charles Greenlee, just 16 at the time, was sent to prison for life.

Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin, friends and Army veterans, were sentenced to death, but the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned their convictions and ordered a retrial. Before that could happen, though, McCall shot them both. Shepherd died at the scene, but Irvin — who played dead — survived, and his sentence was later commuted to life in prison.

The saga of the men who became known as the “Groveland Four” has spanned nearly seven decades, tarnished the reputation of the town that endorsed it, inspired a revelatory, Pulitzer Prize-winning book and became the subject of an online petition demanding that Gov. Rick Scott formally exonerate all four.

After 68 years, and several previous failed attempts, the state of Florida has finally found the words that justice had been waiting on all this time: “We’re truly sorry.”

On the floor of the Florida House of Representatives on Tuesday, lawmakers unanimously passed a resolution apologizing to the families of the “Groveland Four” and exonerating the men. It also calls on Scott to expedite the process for granting posthumous pardons.

None of the “Groveland Four” are still living.

“This resolution is us simply saying ‘We’re sorry’ understanding that we will never know nor be able to make up for the pain we have caused,” said Rep. Bobby DuBose, a bill sponsor, according to the Miami Herald.

Then he asked House members to stand and face relatives of the “Groveland Four” who were present.

“As the state of Florida and the House of Representatives,” DuBose said, “we’re truly sorry.”

The formal acknowledgment of the case, now widely considered a racial injustice, has been years in the making. A book by author Gilbert King, “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America,” revived interest in the decades-old case and unearthed new evidence from once redacted FBI files that cast doubt on Padgett’s version of events.

Then in 2015, after reading King’s book in a college history class, University of Florida student Josh Venkataraman was driving from Orlando back to campus when he passed the road sign for the city of Groveland.

The book had “touched him,” he told a Miami Herald columnist in 2015, but seeing the physical place made it real.

He reached out to Carole Greenlee, the late Charles Greenlee’s daughter, who was living in Nashville, and asked if he could help.

At first the woman was skeptical, but eventually gave Venkataraman her permission to start a petition.

“I’m in the mode of trying to get my father exonerated,” she told the Herald years ago, “and I need all the help I can get.”

Exonerate the Groveland Four” was born, and in the two years since has garnered nearly 9,000 signatures…Read the Rest Here

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2017 in Black History, BlackLivesMatter

 

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White Boy “Justice” – Child Rapist Gets 60 Days In Jail

You know the “Justice” system in America is corrupt and racist when a white child rapist can spend less time in jail than a black teen caught with a joint of Marijuana.

Father who ‘repeatedly raped his 12-year old daughter’ gets 60-day sentence. Fury erupts.

(Courtesy Montana 17th Judicial District Court)

Judge Robert McKeon

As the judge in the Stanford rape case learned, along with the judge in the “affluenza” drunken driving case, the whole world is watching them. A crowd, an angry crowd, can form in a matter of days of people outraged by what they consider a lenient sentence for a heinous crime.

In the case of Judge Robert McKeon, as of early morning Wednesday, almost 20,000 people had signed a Change.org petition calling for his impeachment for the 60-day sentence he gave a Glasgow, Mont., man who pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping his prepubescent daughter.

“A father repeatedly raped his 12-year old daughter,” Deputy Valley County Attorney Dylan Jenson said during an Oct. 4 sentencing hearing.

“It’s time to start punishing the judges who let these monsters walk our streets,” read the petition.

Prosecutors had recommended a mandatory 25-year sentence, 100 years with 75 suspended, which is what state law calls for.

Instead, though, Judge McKeon handed down a far lighter sentence: a 30-year suspended prison sentence, which means the man will only serve it if he fails to meet the conditions of his probation.

Among those conditions, which McKeon called “quite rigorous,” was the requirement for the man to register as a sex offender, the Glasgow Courierreported. He also cannot access pornography and has limited access to the Internet.

In addition, the man will serve 60 days in jail, but McKeon gave him credit for the 17 days he already served, meaning he’ll only spend another 43 days in jail.

The Washington Post is not identifying the convicted man as it could expose the identity of his victim.

In most of these controversial cases, the judges under siege tend to remain silent. What makes McKeon’s case unusual is that he has chosen to defend himself in public.

In an email to the Associated Press, McKeon said he had several reasons for handing down the seemingly light sentence….Read the Rest Here

 

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Wrongful Justice…Is No Justice At All

Yet another case of 5 black men convicted of a rape and murder they didn’t do…

Image result for Dixmoor 5

The Dixmoor 5 – In this case, 5 innocent teenagers (*Dixmoore Five*) were convicted of the rape and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews. DNA excluded all of them. The DNA found on and in this young girl belonged to Willie Randolph, a convicted rapist. In 2011, his DNA was matched to the DNA left at the crime scene, and he has yet to be charged with the murder of this innocent girl. He is a convicted sex offender, and is in prison for that a some other charges. Three were 14 and two were 16 when convicted (Sound familiar?)

The five men spent a collective 80 years in prison

The State knew 5 years ago that these men were innocent, and the identity of the real murderer…But did nothing. Losing a $40 million lawsuit to the 5 wrongly convicted in 2012, still didn’t move the state forward. Ain’t it funny how fast Justice can convict someone wrongly …But to correct an error takes years?

Sex offender to be charged in 1991 rape, murder of Illinois teen after men known as ‘Dixmoor Five’ had wrongly spent time in prison

A 58-year-old sex offender will be charged in the 1991 rape and murder of a 14-year-old suburban Chicago girl after men known as the “Dixmoor Five” had wrongly spent time in prison for the brutal crime.

Willie Randolph will appear in bond court on Thursday afternoon on charges of murder, kidnapping and predatory criminal sexual assault in the death of Dixmoor teen Cateresa Matthews. He is already serving a three-year sentence for drug possession in an Illinois state prison, but was to be released in a few weeks, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The “Dixmoor Five” reached a $40 million settlement with Illinois State Police two years ago after they were cleared of all charges in Cateresa’s death. They spent a decade or more in prison before DNA evidence pointed to Randolph, and not them.

The DNA evidence against Randolph was discovered five years ago, according to the Chicago Tribune, but authorities did not bring charges against the sex offender until now.

“I kept meeting with them and meeting with them, and they said they were investigating,” Cateresa’s mother Theresa Matthews told the Tribune on Wednesday. “They said, ‘We don’t have enough evidence.’ And I said, ‘What more do you need? You have the DNA.’ It just didn’t make any sense.”

Randolph had recently made statements in prison to incriminate himself, and he made them “with much bravado,” a law enforcement official told the newspaper.

Cateresa vanished late in 1991 after leaving her grandmother’s home, and her body was found three weeks later, according to the Tribune.

Registered sex offender Willie Randolph will be charged in the murder.

The real killer

 

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Getting Away With Murder – Reka Boyd Killer Retires

American Justice…Better for some “special” people – bad for everyone else.

Rekia Boyd – Murder victim.

Dante Servin Quits, Set To Collect Pension 4 Years After Killing Rekia Boyd

The police detective who shot into a crowd while off-duty and killed teenager Rekia Boyd in 2012 has resigned, saving his pension as well as the indignity of getting fired.

Dante Servin’s resignation Tuesday came two days before an “evidentiary hearing” before the Chicago Police Board, said Max Caproni, the police board’s executive director. Any charges against Servin, a 24-year police veteran, will now be dropped.

Servin’s resignation comes about a year after he was acquitted of all charges related to the death of Boyd, a 22-year-old woman who was with a group of near Douglas Park when Servin pulled a gun while off-duty and shot into the crowd, striking Boyd in the head.

By resigning, Servin is now eligible to collect his pension and any other outstanding benefits he stood to lose if fired, angering the activists who called for his ouster.

Dante Servin

“The best union to be in in this country is the [Fraternal Order of Police] because you can get away with murder and still get paid,” community activist and anti-violence organizer Father Michael Pfleger said.

Martinez Sutton, Boyd’s brother, said he found out about Servin quitting Tuesday morning and wasn’t at all surprised. He said he figured the process would drag on until Servin walked away with his pension.

After four years of fighting for “justice” for his sister, Sutton said he wasn’t sure what “justice” was anymore.

“It destroyed a family. Rekia was light,” he said. “I don’t know how it affects [Servin], but he has to live with that. He has to live with it on his conscience.”

Servin was found not guilty on manslaughter charges in Boyd’s shooting death just over a year ago. A judge’s ruling suggested he should have been charged with murder instead, which was “unusual” according to legal experts.

Servin’s continued employment drew infuriated protesters and figured in Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s defeat in the March primary. Former top cop McCarthy last year recommended to the Police Board that Servin be fired.

Servin “should’ve been fired and instead he can resign and make money and that’s an insult,” Pfleger said. Trina Reynolds-Tyler of Black Youth Project 100, an activist group that called for Servin’s ouster, said his resignation is “disrespectful.”

“He just took an early retirement,” Reynolds-Tyler said. “It’s ridiculous that this process has taken so long to get to a firing hearing.”

Page May, another local activist, said “it ain’t over” till Servin loses his pension.

 
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Posted by on May 17, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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Georgia KKK Imperial Wizard Killed in Gunfight With Police

In America, white people actually have to have guns and shoot at Police to be killed.

But…Thanks for taking out the trash.

J.J. Harper (Screenshot/WALB)

Georgia KKK imperial wizard killed after shooting at police during eight-hour standoff

An “imperial wizard” of the Ku Klux Klan died Friday after an hours-long standoff with police, WALB reports.

J.J. Harper exchanged fire with police during an 8-hour standoff in Dooly County following a domestic dispute. He was a well-known and active member of the KKK, law enforcement confirmed.

“Yes, he was. He had a membership drive on the courthouse steps,” Dooly County Sheriff’s deputy David Grantham told WALB.

During the standoff, “Harper exited and entered his residence multiple times wearing a bullet resistant vest, gas mask, and other weapons to include a long gun and handguns,” police said in a statement to the Telegraph.

Police told the station that during the standoff, Harper had vowed, “Someone’s going to die today.” He shot multiple rounds at police and officers returned fire before Harper walked inside his home and a gunshot was heard.

Harper was confirmed dead inside the home.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Domestic terrorism

 

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Georgia Judge Delivers a Message

Hopefully she gets through to a few of the hardheads…

Bibb County Superior Court Judge Verda Colvin

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter

 

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How SC Judges Could Force a Vote to Confirm

The Supreme Court requires a minimum of 6 Justices in attendance for the Court to legally hear cases. Perhaps it is time for a boycott by the Justices themselves.The result of not reaching a Quorum isn’t dismissal of the case, the case is moved onto the docket of next year’s cases to be heard. The reason this has not been used before is that it sets a dangerous precedent if used solely to delay the hearing of cases.

28 U.S.C. 1 provides:

The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of a Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices, any six of whom shall constitute a quorum.

However – if the Court cannot meet…

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2016 in American Greed, Domestic terrorism, General

 

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