Maryland’s governor posthumously pardoned 34 victims of racial lynching in the state dating between 1854 and 1933, saying they were denied legal due process against the allegations they faced.
It was a first-of-its-kind pardon by a governor of a U.S. state.
Governor Larry Hogan signed the order at an event Saturday honoring Howard Cooper, a 15-year-old who was dragged from a jailhouse and hanged from a tree by a mob of white men in 1885 before his attorneys could file an appeal of a rape conviction that an all-white jury reached within minutes.
‘My hope is that this action will at least in some way help to right these horrific wrongs and perhaps bring a measure of peace to the memories of these individuals and to their descendants and their loved ones,’ Hogan said.
Hogan and other state officials attended a ceremony in Towson, Maryland, next to the former jailhouse where Cooper was held.
A historic marker was unveiled at the site in a partnership with the Baltimore County Coalition of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, the Equal Justice Initiative and Baltimore County.
Before signing the pardons, Hogan read the names of Cooper and the other victims including David Thomas, Jim Wilson, Isaac Moore, Jim Quinn, Thomas Jurick, John Jones, John Henry Scott, John Simms, Michael Green, James Carroll, George Peck, John Diggs, George Briscoe, Townsend Cook, Charles Whitley, Benjamin Hance, John Biggus, Asbury Green, James Taylor, Isaac Kemp, Stephen Williams, Jacob Henson, James Bowens, Sidney Randolph, William Andrews, Garfield King, Wright Smith, Lewis Harris, Henry Davis, William Burns, King Johnson and George Armwood.
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Source: Daily Mail