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Thu, 05.05.2005

Lena Baker Is Posthumously Pardoned

On this date in 2005, Lena Baker, a Black woman, was pardoned posthumously for murder in self-defense.

In 1944, Baker was sentenced to death in Randolph County for murder. She is the only woman ever put to death in Georgia's electric chair. Baker had been a maid in the household of white employer E. B. Knight.  She allegedly killed Knight because he threatened her at a Cuthbert Grist mill. An all-white jury convicted her in a one-day trial.

Sixty years later, in 2005, Georgia's pardon and parole board ruled a "grievous error" occurred when she was denied clemency in 1945. The board decided mercy was in order in such a case. Baker's family had lobbied publicly for the pardon in the years before the pardon.

New Poem Each Day

Poetry Corner

Come, brother, come. Let's lift it; Come now, hewit! COTTON SONG by N. Jean Toomer.
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