To the editor:
On Sept. 1 Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam pardoned the "Martinsville Seven." Seventy years and seven months since they were executed in the electric chair.
The thing I find interesting is that at the time of their trial conviction and execution, the legislature in Virginia contained 89 Democrats, eight Republicans and two independent members, The governor was J.S. Battle, a segregationist Democrat, The attorney general was James L. Almond, a Democrat. None of these men offered a solution to the obvious imbalance in the use of the death penalty. In fact, Gov. Battle refused to consider commutation of the sentence of death.
For the record, the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery was passed by all of the Republicans in Congress and only 23% of the Democrats. The 14th Amendment giving citizenship to the freed slaves was supported by 94% of the Republicans and 0% of the Democrats, and the 15th Amendment giving voting rights to all was passed with 100% Republicans and 0% Democrat support. This information was gleaned through a simple internet search and is common knowledge.
I have searched the record on line and cannot find any Republican involvement in the "Jim Crow" laws of the South. It would seem to me that there are some revisions of the history of the commonwealth of Virginia and racist governance of the past. It's interesting that the Democrats always seem to get a pass. By the way, most of the statues that are being removed from our cities and towns are also Democrats.