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Florida clears Groveland Four of 1949 rape of white woman


Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida has formally cleared four Black men who were falsely accused of raping a white woman more than seven decades ago. At the request of the local prosecutor, a judge on Monday dismissed the charges and convictions against the Groveland Four: Ernest Thomas, Samuel Shepherd, Charles Greenlee and Walter Irvin. They were accused of raping a woman in the central Florida town of Groveland in 1949. Thomas and Shepherd were fatally shot by law enforcement. Greenlee and Irvin were wrongly convicted and served prison sentences. Later evidence showed the men had been falsely accused by the sheriff and others. 

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