Law: Twelve Years to Justice

Port St. Joe, in the panhandle of Florida, is in one of those swampy, redneck, Southern counties where everything moves at a slow and measured pace—except the courts when they are dealing with black defendants. After Freddie Pitts and Wilbert Lee were charged with murder, it took just three weeks before they were found guilty and sentenced to the electric chair. Evidence suggesting that their "confessions" had been coerced slowed the process not a bit. Later investigations strongly suggested that the two men were innocent but by then the local law was back...

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