October 15, 2009

Tom Joyner’s campaign to clear two unjustly executed ancestors is successful

Radio host Tom Joyner Wednesday received the pardon he was seeking for his great uncles who were executed in South Carolina in 1913 in the death of a 73-year-old Confederate veteran. Joyner, host of the Dallas-based Tom Joyner Morning Show, asked a seven-member panel at the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services to correct what he and his attorneys said was an unjust conviction and death verdict for Thomas and Meeks Griffin. The board voted unanimously to grant the pardon, thought to be the first post conviction pardon in S.C. for someone sentenced to death. Representing Joyner is attorney Steve Benjamin. Also present is Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

From "The State"
Posthumous pardon seen as justice for 2 men executed in 1915

Moments after South Carolina granted a posthumous pardon to Thomas and Meeks Griffin for a controversial murder conviction nearly 100 years ago, their great-nephew, talk show host Tom Joyner, shared the news with his 8 million daily listeners of his syndicated radio show.

"We got it! We got it!" an ebullient Joyner told listeners of the "Tom Joyner Morning Show," carried in the Columbia market on WLXC-FM KISS 103.1.

Nine Joyner family members from Mississippi and Texas traveled to Columbia on Wednesday to hear the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services board render a verdict - believed to be the first posthumous pardon in a capital case in state history. Read more

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