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October 9, 2009

Tom Joyner Seeks Pardon for His Two Great Uncles

From Seanna Adcox (Associated Press) – Nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner is asking South Carolina to posthumously pardon two of his great-uncles — black landowners executed in 1915 after being convicted of murdering an elderly Confederate Army veteran.

Joyner learned of the fate of his great-uncles, farmers Thomas and Meeks Griffin, during filming of the PBS documentary "African American Lives 2," which first aired in February 2008 and was based on research by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.

The program traces the lineage of 12 people, including Joyner. The host of "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" said he was stunned to learn of his South Carolina roots and two great-uncles he didn't know existed — much less of their execution.

"The records will show they did not do what they were executed for, and maybe now they can rest in peace," Joyner said from his Dallas studio.

He said a pardon would bring long-overdue justice, adding "I started trying to put myself in my great-uncles' position and tried to imagine what they must've been going through." Read more

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