Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Florida: A Pardon Revisited

In this editorial, looking back on the governorship of Reuben Askew (1971-1978), Martin Dykman notes:
In another defining moment, Askew in 1975 approved a full pardon for Freddie Pitts and Wilbert Lee, blacks who had spent 12 years in prison, eight of them on death row, for another man's crime at Port St. Joe. News that he was considering the pardon was poorly received in the Panhandle and cost him votes in his 1974 re-election.
A later study by the Florida Commission on Capital Cases concluded 23 inmates on death row in the state were wrongfully convicted. See the Commission's study here.

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