Clarence Henderson, a sharecropper, was wrongfully accused of killing a White man over seven decades ago, per FOX 5 Atlanta. Three all-White juries also determined he committed the crime though he always maintained his innocence.
And though the convictions were overturned by the Georgia Supreme Court as a result of lack of evidence, he wasn’t cleared of the murder. But that recently changed. “My mom told me about this story when I was a child,” Henderson’s great-grandchild, Brandon Henderson, said.
The White man Henderson was wrongfully accused of killing was an army veteran by the name of Carl Stevens. He was reportedly murdered while he was protecting his girlfriend from a man who allegedly tried to rape her.
“He had his first trial for one day. He was convicted in one day,” said Brandon Henderson. But the Black man’s conviction was overturned by the state Supreme Court after three guilty verdicts. That was a result of a lack of evidence.
“Just to understand someone have to go through such traumatic instances when you know you didn’t do something,” Brandon Henderson said, adding that “all the evidence showed he didn’t do it. Again and they still convicted him.”
The Black man, who has since died, was incarcerated for five years. Despite his wrongful conviction, his charges were not dismissed by the county. Brandon Henderson, however, advocated for his great-grandfather’s name to be cleared.
“There’s no reason under the sun for anyone to have that shadow cast upon them or their family,” he said.
“I’m very thankful for the criminal justice system for allowing this to take place, however, it I wish it would’ve happened sooner,” he added.