(LibertySociety.com) – On January 5, Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) pardoned Homer Plessy, wiping his guilty plea from the record almost 125 years after conviction.
The ceremony took place in the Crescent City, and Edwards said he was proud to clear the “unjust criminal conviction” from Plessy’s record.
A train car parked outside of the pardoning ceremony for Homer Plessy. Plessy was arrested for refusing to leave a whites-only railroad car…125 years later, his conviction is being wiped from his record w/ the signing of a posthumous pardon by @LouisianaGov @WWLTV pic.twitter.com/TQqz68R80L
— Charisse Gibson (@OkayCharisse) January 5, 2022
Back in 1897, the New Orleans resident took a seat in a “whites only” East Louisiana Railroad train car and refused to move to the “non-whites only” part of the locomotive. He was arrested for his non-compliance and forced to plead guilty to the charges after the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled in favor of “separate but equal” legislation. It stated that as long as the accommodations were equal, they could legally be separate.
Edwards’ descendants submitted an application for the pardon in November 2021, using a law from 2006 which states family members, or those convicted of breaking previous laws that maintained or enforced “racial separation or discrimination,” could ask for a pardon.
When Keith Plessy, a distant family member of Homer’s, heard what the governor was planning to do, he cried. Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams stated his predecessor should have never prosecuted the local shoemaker.
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