23 August 2005 :the only woman ever executed in Georgia's electric chair is being granted a posthumous pardon, 60 years after the black maid was put to death for killing a white man she claimed held her in slavery and threatened her life.
The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has decided to pardon Lena Baker and plans to present a proclamation to her descendants at its August 30 meeting in Atlanta.
The board did not find Baker innocent of the crime, Lipscomb said. Members instead found the decision to deny her clemency in 1945 "was a grievous error, as this case called out for mercy," Lipscomb said.
Baker was sentenced to die following a 1-day trial before an all-white, all-male jury in Georgia.
John Cole Vodicka, director of the Georgia-based Prison & Jail Project, a prison-advocacy group that assisted Baker's descendants with the pardon request, said he was elated with the decision.