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Florida’s US Sen. Marco Rubio seeks pardon for Groveland 4

December 19, 2018
FILE - In this March 14, 2018, file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during a hearing on school safety on Capitol Hill in Washington. Rubio is calling on Florida officials to formally pardon four young African-American men who were wrongly accused of raping a white woman nearly 70 years ago. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is calling on Florida officials to formally pardon four young African-American men who were wrongly accused of raping a white woman nearly 70 years ago.

The Florida Republican made the request Tuesday on the floor of the Senate. The move is significant because GOP Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other Republicans on the state clemency board have refused to take up the pardon request.

Scott was elected last month to the U.S. Senate and will soon join Rubio in Washington, D.C.

Florida’s incoming agriculture commissioner has already pledged to push for a posthumous pardon of Earnest Thomas, Charles Greenlee, Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin.

Rubio said what happened to the four men was a “horrifying injustice” and still haunts Florida to this day.

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