Pardon Set for Innocent Black Maid Executed in Georgia In 1945
By Noble Johns
ALBANY, Ga. (BNW) This racist country is good at correcting evils it has done against Blacks but saying we are sorry, : well sorry is not enough for the crimes that this country has allowed these racist states in the South to commit against Blacks.
There is no equal in this history of the world to the injustice America has done to its Black citizens. Nobody in their right mind questions that, and the government has told every dirty lie on Blacks just to cover-up its mistreatment of US!
For example, the only woman ever executed in Georgia's electric chair is being granted a posthumous pardon, 60 years after the black maid was put to death for killing a white man she claimed held her in slavery and threatened her life.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has decided to pardon Lena Baker and plans to present a proclamation to her descendants at its Aug. 30 meeting in Atlanta, board spokeswoman Scheree Lipscomb said Monday.
The board did not find Baker innocent of the crime, Lipscomb said. Members instead found the decision to deny her clemency in 1945 "was a grievous error, as this case called out for mercy," Lipscomb said.
Baker was sentenced to die following a one-day trial before an all-white, all-male jury in Georgia.
"I believe she's somewhere around God's throne and can look down and smile," said Baker's grandnephew, Roosevelt Curry, who has led the family's effort to clear her name.
John Cole Vodicka, director of the Georgia-based Prison & Jail Project, a prison-advocacy group that assisted Baker's descendants with the pardon request, said he was elated with the decision.
"Although in some ways it's 60 years too late, it's gratifying to see that this blatant instance of injustice has finally been recognized for what it was - a legal lynching," Vodicka said.
During her one-day trial, Baker testified that E.B. Knight, a man she had been hired to care for, held her against her will in a grist mill and threatened to shoot her if she tried to leave. She said she grabbed Knight's gun and shot him when he raised a metal bar to strike her.
After Baker's execution in 1945, Baker's body was buried in an unmarked grave behind a small church where she had been a choir member. In the late 1990s, the congregation marked the grave with a cement slab.
Baker supporters have been gathering at her grave every year since 2001 to mark the date of her execution, and Curry, along with a few dozen surviving family members, hosted a Mother's Day ceremony at the graveside in 2003, the same year he requested the pardon.
While Baker was the only woman executed in the state's electric chair, Lipscomb said at least two other women were executed by the state, both by hanging. One woman sits on Georgia's death row today.
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