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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.