Today, the Florida Cabinet, acting in their capacity as the state’s Clemency Board, issued pardons to Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd, and Earnest Thomas, collectively known as the Groveland Four. Senate Democratic Leader Designate Gary Farmer and Representative Bobby DuBose issue the following statements:
“I want to thank the Governor and the Cabinet for their swift action today in correcting the historic injustices suffered by the Groveland Four and finally bringing a measure of closure to their families. As Governor DeSantis stated, there can be no doubt that the criminal justice system failed these men. Every Floridian should have the utmost confidence in our elected leaders to protect their civil rights and these pardons reaffirm our commitment to equality under the law for every citizen,” stated Senate Democratic Leader Designate Gary Farmer.
“For almost seventy years, the treatment of the Groveland Four has stood as a stain on the collective soul of our state. Today, we closed the book on a period of racial injustice and discrimination that will allow us to continue to heal the wounds of the actions of past generations. The Governor and the Cabinet should be commended for their principled commitment to righting the wrongs of previous generations and I hope the families of Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd, and Earnest Thomas may finally find the comfort they deserve,” declared Representative Bobby DuBose.