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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2005, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Executed US maid to be pardoned
Electric chair
Baker is the only women to be electrocuted in Georgia
A woman sent to the electric chair in the US state of Georgia 60 years ago is to receive a posthumous pardon.

Lena Baker, a black woman who died aged 44, was convicted of killing white employer Ernest Knight. She admitted killing him, but only in self defence.

The all-white, all-male jury took a day to find her guilty - a decision the parole board upheld in 1945.

A later investigation found she could have been convicted of voluntary manslaughter instead of murder.

At the time of the original trial in 1944, Baker told authorities that her employer had held her against her will in the grist mill he owned.

'Legal lynching'

Trial transcripts describe how she pulled Mr Knight's gun and shot him after being threatened with a metal bar, said the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.

The Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles is to present a proclamation to her descendants at a meeting in Atlanta on 30 August, board spokeswoman Scheree Lipscomb told the Associated Press news agency.

Baker's grand-nephew, Roosevelt Curry, requested the pardon in 2003 and was helped by the Georgia-based prison advocacy group, Prison and Jail Project.

"Although in some way it's 60 years too late, it's gratifying to see that this blatant instance of injustice has finally been recognised for what it was - a legal lynching," the group's director, John Cole Vodicka, told AP.


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