1913 Miscarriage of Justice

I received this note from Beth Doughty:

So I was watching the NBC national news last night, when a story came on about radio host Tom Joyner, and how he had received a posthumous pardon from the state of South Carolina yesterday for his 2 uncles who were executed for the murder of a Confederate veteran in 1913.  Very interesting story in general, then suddenly Paul Finkelman was being interviewed because he was the legal representative for Joyner!  I yelled out, “Holy Sh**!  It’s Paul Finkelman!!!” in front of my 3 year old son (thankfully he was otherwise occupied, and I don’t think he heard me curse.)

You can read about the case and watch the news clip at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33310170/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/; CNN’s post is at http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/15/south.carolina.pardon/#cnnSTCText.

Update:  Paul posted this message on H-SHEAR in response to a posting about the case from H-SHEAR editor Peter Knupfer:

Thanks so much for the kind words; just one tiny correction, which is
really important for this list.  The research I did and the analysis I
offered was historical, not legal.  I looked at the documents in the
state archives about the case the way historians do.  Fortunately, the
history lesson was persuasive.  This is a great example of how we
historians really can have an impact on our society.

The coverage has amazed me, incuding NBC nightly news and a British
newspaper.  If anyone asks "what do you historians do that matters," we
can point to this case.

I would be happy to write a bit about the case if there is an
appropriate venue.  We might expand it on the H-Networks or maybe a JAH
symposium on historians using our craft to right wrongs.  In this I of
course stand the shadow of Peter Irons and his incredible work on the
Japanese-Internment Cases.

Here are a few more links to the Griffin Bros. case, including two from Europe. 
It is interesting to see that people outside the US think this matters.



Updated Again - Yet more Finkelmania:  
Paul also appeared on NPR's Morning Edition for a piece on the commemoration of John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry.

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