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Gov. Perdue pardons Wilmington 10

By Jaime McCutcheon
Published On: Dec 31 2012 02:00:59 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 31 2012 02:34:56 PM CST
wilmington 10
WILMINGTON -

Outgoing North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue has issued pardons to the Wilmington 10, a group wrongly convicted in a notorious Civil Rights-era prosecution.
    
Perdue issued a pardon of innocence Monday for the nine black men and one white woman sentenced to a combined almost 300 years in prison for the 1971 firebombing of a Wilmington grocery store that occurred after police shot a black teenager. The pardon means the state no longer thinks the group committed a crime.
    
The three key witnesses in the case later recanted their testimony. Amnesty International and other groups took up the issue, portraying the Wilmington 10 as political prisoners.