‘Groveland Four’ exonerated posthumously 70 years after being falsely accused of raping white woman

Four men who were falsely accused of raping a white woman in Lake County more than 70 years ago were officially exonerated by a judge on Monday morning.

Samuel Shepherd, Walter Irvin, Charles Greenlee and Ernest Thomas were already pardoned by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2019 and there has been a push for years to clear their names, and in a courtroom Monday morning, that finally happened.

“This is a glory hallelujah day,” said Beverly Robinson, the cousin of Samuel Shepherd, at a news conference following the hearing.

The Florida State legislature apologized to the Groveland Four in 2017 as well as recommended that they be exonerated.


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