Wilmington 10 Receive Full Pardon from NC Governor
On the last day of her term, outgoing North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue (D) granted a full pardon for ten activists who were convicted of firebombing a grocery store in 1972 as part of a civil rights protest. The group, known as the "Wilmington 10," were comprised of nine black men and one white woman who served a combined 282 years in prison. Only six of the Wilmington 10 are alive today.
In her statement issuing the pardon, Governor Perdue said "I have spent a great deal of time over the past seven months reviewing the pardon of innocence requests of the persons collectively known as the Wilmington Ten. ... These convictions were tainted by naked racism and represent an ugly stain on North Carolina's criminal justice system that cannot be allowed to stand any longer. Justice demands that this stain finally be removed."
Benjamin Chavis, one of the Wilmington 10 and former executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, told the Wall Street Journal, "You're supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, but for 40 years, we've struggled to prove our innocence. ... Finally, everything showed that we were framed up." He hopes that the pardon will draw attention to changes that still need to be made. "Some people think we're in a post-civil-rights era, but I disagree with that," he said. "We still have a lot to do."
Media Resources: Wall Street Journal 1/1/2013; MSNBC 12/31/2012; Office of Governor Perdue Press Release 12/31/2012
5/27/2015 California Passes Reproductive FACT Act - The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday.
AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. . . .
5/26/2015 Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.
Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday. . . .