Gov. Hogan pardoning 34 victims of racial lynching in Maryland

A spokesperson for the Maryland Republican said the sweeping pardon is the first of its kind by a governor.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will posthumously pardon 34 victims of racial lynching in the state who were denied legal due process in the allegations against them between 1854 and 1933, a spokesman for Hogan said Saturday.

Michael Ricci, Hogan’s spokesman, said the sweeping pardon is the first of its kind by a governor.

Hogan will sign the order at an event honoring Howard Cooper, a 15-year-old who was dragged from a jailhouse and hanged from a sycamore tree by a mob of white men in 1885 before his attorneys could file an appeal of a rape conviction reached by an all-white jury in minutes.

“Justice has not been done with respect to any of these extrajudicial killings, which violated fundamental rights to due process and equal protection of law,” according to a draft clemency document that Hogan is scheduled to sign.

Hogan and other state officials are scheduled to attend a ceremony in Towson, Maryland, next to the former jailhouse where Cooper was held. A historic marker will be unveiled at the site in a partnership with the Baltimore County Coalition of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, the Equal Justice Initiative and Baltimore County.

The sign says Cooper’s body was left hanging “so angry white residents and local train passengers could see his corpse.”  read more…

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  1. So – pardoning someone who may or not have been guilty almost 100 years later? I guess there’s not much on the court docket or the Governors desk these days. What does this actually help? It’s like ripping a scab off so that it may BLEED some more.

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