7 Black men were executed for an alleged rape in 1951. Decades later, they’ve been pardoned
A group of young Black men executed after being convicted by all-White juries of allegedly raping a White woman have been pardoned in Virginia 70 years after their deaths.
On Tuesday, Gov. Ralph Northam granted posthumous pardons to the”Martinsville Seven.”
“While these pardons do not address the guilt of the seven, they serve as recognition from the Commonwealth that these men were tried without adequate due process and received a racially biased death sentence not similarly applied to white defendants,” Northam’s office said Tuesday.
“We all deserve a criminal justice system that is fair, equal, and gets it right — no matter who you are or what you look like. I’m grateful to the advocates and families of the Martinsville Seven for their dedication and perseverance,” he added.