News

Lawsuit filed by family of Black teen wrongfully convicted and executed in 1931

A lawsuit has been brought against the state of Pennsylvania and Delaware County by the family of a Black 16-year-old boy who was wrongfully convicted of murder and executed in 1931. Per NBC 10, the lawsuit filed by the family of Alexander McClay Williams comes after a court in 2022 vacated his conviction and ordered a new trial.

There was, however, no posthumous retrial for Williams’ case, and a judge in 2017 expunged his criminal record. Williams was executed by the state after an all-White jury found him guilty of murdering a White woman identified as 34-year-old Vida Robare. Williams’ family has, however, maintained his innocence. 

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer also admitted that the charges shouldn’t have even been initially filed against Williams when his charges were being dismissed in 2022.

“Sadly, we cannot undo the past. We cannot rewrite history to erase the egregious wrongs of our forebearers,” Stollsteimer said at the time. “However, when, as here, justice can be served by publicly acknowledging such a wrong, we must seize that opportunity.”

The announcement of the lawsuit was made by the family’s attorneys on Monday, and the plaintiffs are seeking unspecified punitive damages for Williams’ wrongful conviction and execution.

“They murdered him,” 94-year-old Susie Williams Carter, who is Williams’ last surviving sibling, said at Monday’s press conference, The Associated Press reported. “They need to pay for killing my brother.”

On October 3, 1930, Robare’s body was found at the Glen Mills School for Boys where she worked as a house matron. The deceased woman’s ex-husband, Fred Robare, is said to have found her body in her cottage, NBC 10 reported.

Robare was reportedly stabbed 47 times and Williams was arrested and charged in connection with her killing. But no witness was linked to the murder and Williams was not even spotted at the crime scene. Prosecutors rather built their case around confessions that Williams was forced to make.

But the lawsuit pinpoints that prosecutors while looking into Williams’ case brushed off other evidence such as Robare’s divorce filing from her ex-husband. The deceased woman had filed for divorce from Fred on the grounds of “extreme cruelty.”

Fred also worked at the school and was the individual who initially discovered his ex-wife’s body. Fred was said to have had a history of domestic violence against her and was the last person seen with her, yet no one considered him a suspect in her murder, Face2Face Africa reported when Williams’ murder conviction was dismissed. Authorities executed the Black teen on June 8, 1931.

Sam Lemon, the great-grandson of Williams’ criminal trial attorney, ultimately gathered information that proved authorities had fabricated the evidence brought against the Black teen, attorneys for the 16-year-old’s family said in a statement. 

“This tragedy haunted the family, haunted the parents, haunted Susie, haunted (trial lawyer) William Ridley and his family,” Joseph Marrone, an attorney for Williams’s family, said at Monday’s press conference, per The Associated Press. “There was nothing to connect him to the murder. He was a convenient Black boy at the hands of these detectives and this prosecutor.”

Francis Akhalbey

A reader once told me I lack the emotional maturity to cope with mythological breasts. I support Manchester United, by the way. And L.A. Lakers.

Recent Posts

Couple who got engaged at Kem’s concert got a surprise performance from the R&B star at their wedding

Kim Lamont Owens, also known as Kem, surprised a couple by honoring his pledge to…

13 hours ago

After almost 17 years behind bars, this Georgia man is now a school principal

Chris Willars was incarcerated for 16 years and 11 months. He now serves as principal…

14 hours ago

How this doctor invented the Band-Aid for nosebleed emergencies: ‘We didn’t have anything to give patients’

Dr. Elizabeth Clayborne founded a medical device called NasaClip after her residency in Washington, D.C.…

15 hours ago

Africa’s richest man Dangote says International Oil Companies are frustrating his refinery

The Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited, Devakumar Edwin, has accused…

17 hours ago

Meet the NBA Hall of Famer who made millions but became a school crossing guard earning just $14K a year

Meet Adrian Dantley, he is a former NBA player who became a six-time NBA All-Star…

18 hours ago

In just 3 days, teen crochets gown previously seen on Zendaya for prom

For all the right reasons, Sarah Akinbuwa has become quite popular. For about sixty dollars,…

19 hours ago

50 Cent says his X account and website were compromised, culprit made $3M in 30 mins

Rapper 50 Cent has reported that his social media account and website were hacked, and…

20 hours ago

Meghan Markle could make millions from this product she is about to launch: report

Meghan Markle is set to uncork a new chapter in her business journey with a…

21 hours ago

Footage shows Amazon worker defending female coworker from would-be carjacker

A New York Amazon delivery driver was spotted beating a man who attacked his female…

22 hours ago

Charlotte teacher charged after alleged inappropriate relationship with 18-year-old student

Authorities in Charlotte have brought charges against a 28-year-old female high school teacher who allegedly…

22 hours ago

Woman confesses to trying to poison her veterinarian husband with his own supply of animal drugs

A 51-year-old Wisconsin woman is facing twelve and a half years in prison after she…

22 hours ago

Sha’Carri Richardson finally heads to Olympics after stumbling with untied shoe

Sha'Carri Richardson is heading to the Olympics in Paris for the first time in her…

23 hours ago

Ghana’s Dede Ayite is now the first Black woman to win a Tony Award for best costume design of a play

At the 2024 Tony Awards, Ghanaian designer Dede Ayite became the first Black woman to…

4 days ago

This retired Atlanta man is behind a mobile laundry bus for the homeless

Nicky Crawford runs a mobile laundry bus that takes care of Atlanta’s growing homeless population.…

4 days ago

Childhood friends celebrate epic law school graduation: ‘My sister since 2002’

Ashlee M. Davis and Tianna Williams have been great friends for more than twenty years…

4 days ago