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Senate Gives Apology to Groveland Four, 67 Years After Wrongful Conviction

April 27th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
For the second day in a row, the State Senate apologized on behalf of the state for a past wrong.
In 1947 four black men in rural Groveland Florida were wrongly accused of raping a white teenager.
Three were arrested, A fourth ran and and was killed by a mob.
State Senator Gary Farmer called the affair shameful.
“We cannot change the hands of time. We cannot go back to this terrible event and undo it, but we can acknowledge our wrongs and we can bring peace and healing to the families who have suffered for so long,” said Farmer.
In 1951, while transporting two of the boys to the Lake County Jail, the sheriff shot the boys in the head on the side of the road, killing one.
The survivor was sentenced to life after the incident, then paroled in 1968.
Now surviving family members say the legislative apology has lifted a burden from their families.
“It’s uplifting you know? To realize that when we do make a mistake that we can correct it. Granted it’s been 67 years,” said Beatrice Greenlee Roberts, the niece of Charles Greenlee who was one of the Groveland four.
With this apology, family members hope the State never allows the same mistakes to happen again.
“This means a future for Florida. This means a future for children. This means that something positive has come out of something so wrong and so negative and so bad,” said Carol Greenlee, the daughter of Charles.
Carol Greenlee says her father has always wanted forgiveness for what happened to him, with this apology she says he finally has it.
The resolution calls for the Governor to speed up the exoneration process for the four boys and issue a formal apology on behalf of the State.

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