Executed Woman to Get Pardon in Georgia
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: August 16, 2005
ALBANY, Ga., Aug. 15 (AP) - The only woman ever executed in Georgia's electric chair, Lena Baker, is being granted a posthumous pardon, 60 years after she was put to death for killing a man she said had held her in slavery and threatened her life.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles plans to make the pardon official by presenting a proclamation to Ms. Baker's descendants at a meeting on Aug. 30 in Atlanta, a board spokeswoman, Scheree Lipscomb, said Monday.
The board did not find that Ms. Baker was not guilty of the crime, but it did find that the decision to deny her clemency in 1945 "was a grievous error, as this case called out for mercy," Ms. Lipscomb said.
In her one-day trial, Ms. Baker, who was black, testified that E. B. Knight, a white man she had been hired to care for, had held her against her will and threatened to shoot her. She said she grabbed a gun and shot him when he raised a metal bar to strike her. She was convicted by an all-white, all-male jury.
Ms. Baker's grandnephew, Roosevelt Curry, has led the family's effort to clear her name.