Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Saturday granted posthumous pardons to 34 lynching victims. His workplace mentioned it was the primary time a governor had issued a “blanket pardon” of this type.
Some youngsters have been amongst these pardoned, together with Howard Cooper, a 15-year-old Black boy who was hanged by a white mob in 1885, and 13-year-old Frederick “whose full name was lost to history,” Hogan mentioned.
The governor signed the pardons at an occasion memorializing Howard, who was killed after an all-white jury discovered him responsible of raping a white lady. The lady by no means testified, however the jury reportedly reached its verdict in under a minute. Before Howard’s attorneys have been capable of enchantment the conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court, the boy was dragged from a Baltimore County jailhouse by an indignant mob and hanged on a close-by sycamore tree.
According to a historic marker that was unveiled Saturday on the web site the place Howard was lynched, the boy’s “body was displayed so angry white residents and local train passengers could see his corpse” and items of the rope that had been used to hold him have been later “given away as souvenirs.”
“Howard’s mother, Henrietta, collected her child’s remains and buried him in an unmarked grave in Ruxton. No one was ever held accountable for her son’s lynching,” the marker reads.
Hogan mentioned he was made conscious of Howard’s story by the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project and college students at Loch Raven Technical Academy, who submitted a petition earlier this yr to pardon the teenager.
The governor mentioned the petition prompted him to analyze the historical past of lynching in Maryland, and finally led him to the choice to pardon all documented victims of the racist, extrajudicial killings within the state between 1854 and 1933. (Will Schwarz, president of the memorial venture, told Politico that there have been really 40 documented lynching instances in Maryland over that point interval, however in a few of these instances, the victims had not but been arrested once they have been killed and have been thus not eligible for posthumous clemency.)
Hogan mentioned in a press release that he hoped the pardons would “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 loved ones.”
“The state of Maryland has long been on the forefront of civil rights, dating back to Justice Thurgood Marshall’s legal battle to integrate schools and throughout our national reckoning on race,” Hogan mentioned. “Today, we are once again leading the way as we continue the work to build a more perfect union.”
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