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Florida pardons wrongly accused ‘Groveland Four’ after 70 years



Four black men wrongly accused of raping a white teenager 70 years ago were pardoned by top Florida officials on Friday, a long-sought step in a case seen as a historic racial injustice.

While none of the men known as the “Groveland Four” remain alive, family members and supporters appealed their innocence to the Florida Clemency Board, composed of the state’s governor, attorney general, chief financial officer and agriculture commissioner.

The board, meeting at the state capitol in Tallahassee, voted unanimously to pardon Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin and Samuel Shepherd and Ernest Thomas.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, elected to the office in November and sworn in earlier this week, called the case a “miscarriage of justice” in which the nation’s judicial ideals were “perverted time and time again.”

The men were accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl in 1949 near Groveland, Florida.

The alleged victim maintained on Friday that she was not a liar and opposed the pardons before they were granted.


Thomas was hunted down by a posse of over 1,000 men and killed as he was shot 400 times days later. The three others were beaten in custody and convicted. Of those, one was shot dead on the way to a retrial.

Renewed interest in the Groveland Four was sparked by the book, “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America” by Gilbert King that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2013.

Florida legislators passed resolutions in 2017 apologizing to the families of the four men and recommended their posthumous pardons.

Reporting by Letitia Stein; editing by Colleen Jenkins and Tom Brown

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race



Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)



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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits



President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’



Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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