ORANGE COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Gov. Bev Perdue spoke publicly today for the first time since granting pardons of innocence for the Wilmington 10 Monday.
During a visit to a school in Orange County, Perdue said she is "proud of the decision, and I stand by it."
"I think the criminal justice system's main purpose is to be fair and to ensure that all of us get a really fair, good trial based on evidence, not based on race or any kind of prejudice against our sex or our religion, and if you read some of the trial notes, clearly there was overt prejudice and racism involved in the Wilmington 10," Perdue said. "These men and one woman have been persecuted for more than four decades, and it was time to right this wrong."
Perdue's term as governor ends Saturday when Pat McCrory takes the oath of office in a private ceremony.