4 Black men wrongly charged with rape are exonerated after 72 years

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Four Black men wrongly charged with rape were exonerated Monday, more than 70 after being convicted of what prosecutors now say were baseless charges. Why it...
Four Black men wrongly charged with rape were exonerated Monday, more than 70 after being convicted of what prosecutors now say were baseless charges.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said the case against the men, who all died before it was re-examined by Florida officials, "lacked due process and would not be tried today," the New York Times reports.

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Context: The accused, Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd and Ernest Thomas, came to be known as the Groveland Four.

Background: On July 16, 1949, a 17-year-old white woman and her estranged husband told police in Lake County, Fla., the four men had stopped to help with a broken down car when they took the woman from the car and raped her, per the NYT.

Following the accusations, Thomas was killed by a mob after he fled Lake County.

The three other men were convicted by an all-white jury. Irvin and Shepherd were sentenced to death and Greenlee to life in prison, according to the NYT.

NCAAP lawyers appealed the convictions to the Supreme Court, which…
Julia Sclafani
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