Pardons issued for members of Wilmington 10
RALEIGH — Outgoing North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue issued pardons on Monday to the Wilmington 10, a group wrongly convicted 40 years ago in a notorious Civil Rights-era prosecution that led to accusations that the state was holding political prisoners.
Perdue issued pardons of innocence for the nine black men and one white woman who received prison sentences totaling nearly 300 years for the 1971 firebombing of a Wilmington grocery store during three days of violence that included the shooting of a black teenager by police.
The pardon means the state no longer thinks the 10 — four of whom have since died — committed a crime.
“I have decided to grant these pardons because the more facts I have learned about the Wilmington 10, the more appalled I have become about the manner in which their convictions were obtained,” Perdue said in a news release.
In 1978, then-Gov. Jim Hunt commuted their sentences but withheld a pardon. Two years later, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, threw out the convictions, saying perjury and prosecutorial misconduct were factors in the verdicts.
The surviving members of the Wilmington 10 are Benjamin Chavis, Reginald Epps, James McKoy, Wayne Moore, Marvin Patrick and Willie Earl Vereen. Those who died are Jerry Jacobs, Ann Shepard, Connie Tindall and Joe Wright.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fewer adults smoking, U.S. survey finds
- Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg has stent placed in heart artery
- Obama’s immigration actions neglect business pleas
- Fissures begin to emerge among Dems
- Obama administration announces plan to limit smog-forming ozone
- In Ferguson, demonstrations over black youth’s slaying by police officer peter out
- Rookie Cleveland police officer acted within 2 seconds to shoot 12-year-old boy
- Boston airport’s ‘naked man’ remains behind bars
- House ethics panel defers campaign finance investigation of New York Rep. Grimm
- Test vaccine to fight Ebola promising
- Ferguson testimony filled with variations