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Thursday, February 02, 2012

Martinsville Is In The News

It was sixty-one years ago today ...
Crime History: Martinsville Seven sent to electric chair
By Scott McCabe, Washington Examiner

On this day, Feb. 2, in 1951, in Virginia, four of seven black men sentenced to death for raping a 32-year-old white woman were executed.

The remaining three men were executed on Feb. 5.

The execution of the "Martinsville Seven" -- condemned to death by all-white, all male juries -- caused a national outcry.

The appeals of the seven men marked the first time in the United States that civil rights lawyers used statistical evidence to argue that blacks are treated unfairly by the criminal justice system.

Of the 45 men who had been executed in Virginia for the crime of rape, all of were black and all the victims were white.

The courts were unswayed. The executions remains one of the largest for a crime against a single victim in American history. [link]
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