Wilmington 10 Pardoned


Great news, Curmilus.

North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue announced on Monday a pardon for the Wilmington 10 — nine men and one woman who spent nearly a decade in jail for crimes they did not commit.

This is the kind of work we do, Curmilus. Led by North Carolina NAACP State Conference President Rev. William Barber, the NAACP worked diligently alongside The Wilmington 10 Pardon of Innocence Project, the Wilmington Journal and the National Newspaper Publishers Association and partners throughout North Carolina and around the country to shed light on the case of the Wilmington 10, and it paid off.

And it wouldn’t have been possible without our NAACP members. That’s why I’m asking you to celebrate this incredible victory by joining the NAACP today.

The pardoning of the Wilmington 10 is a crucial chapter in a story of more than four decades spent trying to right a great injustice. These civil rights activists created powerful enemies in their fight to stop school segregation. Rather than being honored as civil rights heroes, they were hounded as criminals. In 1971, the Wilmington 10 were framed for conspiracy and arson, and sentenced to a combined 282 years in jail. Then, dedicated civil rights activists went to work, raising awareness about the blatant prosecutorial misconduct and witness-statement fabrication that led to this wrongful conviction.

The convictions of the Wilmington 10 were overturned in 1980. Last year, the seven surviving members of the group petitioned Governor Perdue for a pardon and restitution for their years in jail.

And our victory sends a strong message that — no matter where or when injustice occurs — we will stop at nothing to bring it to light and right the committed wrongs.

The Wilmington 10 won’t be the last. These are fights worth winning. Please join the NAACP today, so we can have these same great successes in the future:


We look forward to working with you. Happy new year. Let’s make 2013 a great one, together.

Thank you.


Benjamin Todd Jealous
President and CEO

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Gov. Perdue Signs Historic Pardon of Innocence for the Wilmington 10 Press Release From The NAACP NC


NC NAACP Letterhead


31 December 2012


For More Information:           Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President, 919-394-8137

                                                Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

                                                Atty. Al McSurely, Communications Chair, 919-381-0856


Gov. Perdue Signs Historic Pardon of Innocence for the Wilmington 10

NAACP News Conference Held in Raleigh December 31, 2012

at Martin Street Baptist Church


RALEIGH – "Today the spirit of justice was awakened in the Capitol of North Carolina," said Rev. Barber. "Governor Beverly Perdue has signed a Pardon of Innocence for nine men and one woman known as ‘The Wilmington 10.’ These young people were non-violent protestors fighting for educational equality. They were framed, wrongfully convicted and incarcerated in connection to a fire bombing in Wilmington, NC over 40 years ago. These unjust convictions were due to racist manipulation of the court system and extraordinary and blatant racially motivated prosecutorial misconduct. A Federal Court overturned these convictions over 30 years ago but until today, NC had fallen short. In the last few days of her governorship, Governor Perdue has walked us into a season of epiphany."


            "In this season, NC has finally had a revelation and with this revelation comes a continued need for redemption and repentance from the stain of injustice. Not only will the civil rights and human rights communities honor this act, but history itself will record this day as groundbreaking. On the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, Governor Perdue has proclaimed a contemporary emancipation for these freedom fighters, Benjamin Chavis, Connie Tindall, Marvin Patrick, Wayne Moore, Reginald Epps, Jerry Jacobs, James McKoy, Willie Earl Vereen, William Wright, Jr., and Ann Shepard, whose fight for justice will never be forgotten. These pardons are not only for North Carolina but also for the nation and for the world. We honor the Governor’s noble, courageous and righteous decision today and we commend her heart’s steadfast commitment to justice."


            Special thanks is extended to: The National Newspaper Publishers Association, The Wilmington Journal, Attorney James Ferguson, Attorney Irving Joyner, Attorney Al McSurely, Cash Michaels, Marry Thatch, Dr. Timothy Tyson, officers and members of the NAACP, and the thousands of persons who signed petitions, prayed and pushed for this dream to become reality.




Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. 



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Wilmington 10


Breaking News – Gov. Perdue issues Pardon of Innocence for Wilmington 10

Response: It has been a long time coming. It is just a damn shame how black folks have endured such racist happenings back in the day. Now this was in my life time I was born in 1962 and this happened in 1971. And some black folks act as if they have arrived. How in the hell can you do that when your brothers and sisters have suffered these types of injustices like the Wilmington 10.

I am honored to have been the 1st Vice President of the Rocky Mount Branch of the NAACP in 1993 when Benjamin Chavis former National NAACP Executive Director came to Greenville North Carolina for our State Convention. I took a picture with him along with Andre Knight and Lewis Turner. I had the picture enlarged to hang on my wall.

Lewis Turner was married to Ann Shepard in the 70’s.

Thank you Governor Perdue for doing the right thing.

Just spoke to Lewis Turner and he gave me some history about what happened during the time of Ann Shepard going to jail. He will share what they had to do about her children during her transition to jail. Going to meet with him on tomorrow to do a DVD.

Curmilus Dancy II
The Political Agitator
Life Fully Paid Member NAACP

RALEIGH, N.C. –Outgoing North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue issued pardons Monday to the Wilmington 10, a group wrongly convicted 40 years ago in a notorious Civil Rights-era prosecution that led to accusations that the state was holding political prisoners.

Perdue issued pardons of innocence Monday for the nine black men and one white woman who were given prison sentences totaling nearly 300 years for the 1971 firebombing of a Wilmington grocery store after police shot a black teenager. (More)

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Wilmington 10


Editorial – For Wilmington 10, Gov. Perdue has the chance to right an injustice four decades old – StarNews Online

Before Gov. Bev Perdue leaves office, she has the opportunity to close the book on one of the ugliest chapters in recent Wilmington history: the convictions of nine black men and a white woman whose trial trampled justice and their constitutional rights. Their case is why “the Wilmington 10” are well known far beyond the confines of Southeastern North Carolina. (More)

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Wilmington 10


Perdue appoints Beasley to Supreme Court – WTVD 11

RALEIGH — Gov. Bev Perdue appointed Cheri Beasley to the Supreme Court of North Carolina Wednesday. Beasley, who is currently a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson.

Timmons-Goodson announced last month she would retire Monday. She was the first African-American woman to serve on North Carolina’s highest court. (More)

NC lawmakers, Perdue make claims to bipartisanship – Charlotte Observer

RALEIGH, N.C. Whose definition of bipartisanship will North Carolina voters believe as they decide in November whether the Legislature should remain in Republican hands after a contentious two-year session?

This year’s General Assembly’s budget-adjustment term ended this past week after GOP leaders persuaded a handful of Democrats to help override three vetoes by Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue, including the budget bill for the second year in a row. (More)

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Both chambers override Perdue’s veto of state budget plan – News & Observer

The legislature will pass a $20.2 billion state budget over Gov. Bev Perdue’s objections. The state House voted 74-45 Monday night to override her veto. The Senate voted about 30 minutes later to override with a vote of 31-10. (More)

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