RALEIGH, NC (WWAY/WTVD) — Members of the Wilmington 10 made a special delivery this morning to Gov. Bev Perdue’s office.
The group, including Benjamin Chavis and three other members, along with their supporters delivered 130,000 petition signatures to the state capitol today. The delegation is hoping Gov. Perdue will grant pardons of innocence to the Wilmington 10 in her final days in office.
The Wilmington 10 were convicted of conspiracy more than 40 years ago. Their convictions were later overturned.
“We come here right after Advent and Christmas and entering the season of Epiphany believing that North Carolina can turn this tragic history into a triumphant time of redemption and repentance,” NC NAACP President William Barber said.
Gov. Perdue has not indicated which way she is leaning.
Organizers of today’s event said it would be the Wilmington 10’s “closing argument” in making their case for pardons.
Many people in Wilmington believe despite the overturning of their convictions, the group was guilty of the crimes, including the fire bombing of Mike’s Grocery on S. 6th Street, that led to a year of racial tensions in the Port City in 1971.