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Florida clears Groveland Four, who were wrongly accused of a rape in 1949

Florida has formally cleared four Black men who were falsely accused of raping a white woman more than seven decades ago.

At the request of the local prosecutor, a judge on Monday dismissed the charges and convictions against the Groveland Four: Ernest Thomas, Samuel Shepherd, Charles Greenlee and Walter Irvin.

They were accused of raping a woman in the central Florida town of Groveland in 1949.

Thomas and Shepherd were fatally shot by law enforcement. Greenlee and Irvin were wrongly convicted and served prison sentences.

Later evidence showed the men had been falsely accused by the sheriff and others.

In October, prosecutor Bill Gladson filed a motion to dismiss the indictments of Thomas and Shepherd and to set aside the judgments and sentences of Greenlee and Irvin.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state's Cabinet granted posthumous pardons to the men in 2019.

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