7 Black Men Who Were Executed for an Alleged Rape Have Been Pardoned 70 Years Later

7 Black men were brutally slain via the electric chair after being charged with rape without due process due to what many believe was a result of deep-seated racism. 

32-year-old Ruby Stroud Floyd, a White woman, was raped on January 8, 1949, in Martinsville, Virginia. Following this, 7 Black men, subsequently known as the"Martinsville Seven," were found guilty of this crime by an all-White jury.

John Claybon Taylor, Joe Henry Hampton, James Luther Hairston, Howard Lee Hairston, Frank Hairston Jr., Booker T. Millner, and Francis DeSales Grayson, ranging from ages 18 to 37, were all executed via electric chair. 

Governer Ralph Northam granting pardons for 7 Black men who were executed for an alleged rape in 1951. | Source: youtube.com/WTVR CBS 6

Governer Ralph Northam granting pardons for 7 Black men who were executed for an alleged rape in 1951. | Source: youtube.com/WTVR CBS 6

It later came to light that these men were not given a fair trial, having been convicted by an all-White jury and their relatives purporting that they were interrogated without due process. Curtis Millner, the younger cousin of Booker T. Millner, expressed

"I was traumatized by this incident...I'm looking for closure." 

The now-passed men's families and communities have been fighting for their loved ones' pardon for over a year. They have gone by the name of "Martinville 7 Coalition."

Recently, in Virginia and 7 decades after being sentenced to death, Governor Ralph Northam pardoned all men posthumously. Northam's office stated

"These men were tried without adequate due process and received a racially biased death sentence."

The governor thanked the "Martinville 7 Coalition" for not giving up on this case. He expressed that all individuals deserve a fair trial devoid of discrimination. 

Northam shared this news on Twitter, and although many applauded his decision, some did not believe it was enough. They encouraged, and borderline demanded that the families receive compensation for the egregious injustice.

21-year-old Lakeyjanay Bailey was suspected of trafficking a white girl who is her sister.

There was also one who accused the Governor of pandering to accumulate votes. They doubted that there was any actual evidence to pardon these men. 

Racism has been a controversial and ongoing topic in America. Recently, a young Black woman was brought to tears when, once again, law officials were allegedly discriminatory against her. 

21-year-old Lakeyjanay Bailey was suspected of trafficking a white girl who is her sister Olivia at Dallas airport. The incident purportedly occurred after a fellow traveler became concerned when she saw Bailey and Olivia together.

Individual commenting on a YouTube post by Denver7 – The Denver Channel. │ Source: Denver7 – The Denver Channel

Individual commenting on a YouTube post by Denver7 – The Denver Channel. │ Source: Denver7 – The Denver Channel

When she and her adopted sister landed at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, officers were waiting for her under suspicion that she was involved in human trafficking. 

Nothing serious occurred as a result, but the young woman has been deeply affected by the event, stating that she feels it would not have happened if she were white. As it stands, conversations around these problematic issues remain imperative. 

ⓘ NEWS.AMOMAMA.COM does not support or promote any kind of violence, self-harm, or abusive behavior. We raise awareness about these issues to help potential victims seek professional counseling and prevent anyone from getting hurt. NEWS.AMOMAMA.COM speaks out against the above mentioned and advocates for a healthy discussion about the instances of violence, abuse, sexual misconduct, animal cruelty, abuse etc. that benefits the victims. We also encourage everyone to report any crime incident they witness as soon as possible.

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