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Wilmington 10 makes 'closing argument' for pardons

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The surviving members of the Wilmington 10 are making one final push for pardons before Gov. Bev Perdue leaves office next week.

The living members are scheduled to deliver more than 130,000 petition signatures from their Change.org national campaign to a representative of Perdue's State Capitol Office tomorrow at 9 a.m. This will be the last such delivery before Perdue makes her decision on whether to grant pardons to the group convicted of arson in 1971 only to have the conviction overturned years later.

Organizers say tomorrow will be the Wilmington 10's "closing argument" to gain pardons.

A month ago, Wilmington Ten member Willie Earl Vereen led a delegation of supporters from Wilmington when he delivered more than 14,000 petition signatures from the NAACP, the Wilmington Journal newspaper and Change.org to Mark Davis, Gov. Perdue's General Counsel, at the capitol.

This time, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, leader of the Wilmington Ten, will be joined by Wilmington Ten members Vereen, James McKoy and Marvin Patrick; family members of deceased Wilmington Ten members Anne Shepard, Jerry Jacobs, William Joe Wright and Connie Tindall; Wilmington Ten attorneys Irving Joyner and James Ferguson, and a large delegation of supporters from Wilmington, when Dr. Chavis delivers their second batch of signatures.

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