On Wednesday, Florida lawmakers voted unanimously as sponsors of H.C.R. 631 (pdf), which seeks to give the men a posthumous exoneration and asks for immediate pardons.
“This resolution, while seemingly minute, symbolizes the great state of Florida looking those families in the eyes—families, with children, who grew up not knowing their fathers but only knew their records,” said state Rep. Bobby DuBose (D-Fort Lauderdale), a sponsor of the bill. “This resolution is us simply saying, ‘We’re sorry’—understanding we will never know or make up for the pain we have caused.”
A concurrent resolution acknowledging the grave injustices perpetrated against Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shepherd, and Ernest Thomas, who came to be known as “the Groveland Four”; offering a formal and heartfelt apology to these victims of racial hatred and to their families; and urging the Governor and Cabinet to perform an expedited clemency review of the cases of Charles Greenlee, Walter Irvin, Samuel Shephard, and Ernest Thomas, including granting 11 full pardons. (Florida Senate.gov)