Criminal Records That Should Have Been Expunged Long Ago


Many criminal records don’t deserve to be expunged.  But who could argue this one?

‘The Friendship Nine Act’ would pardon segregation protesters

Local legislators sponsor bill to remove convictions

By Andrew Dys, The Herald – March 10, 2009

Finally, 48 years late, the nine black Rock Hill men who changed the world with their courage to fight segregation could get a pardon for committing a crime that should have been no crime at all.

The crime in 1961 in South Carolina was protesting segregation of the races — laws and customs later found to be unconstitutional and immoral. Yet the “Friendship Nine” spent 30 days in jail and have had criminal records all their lives for sitting at a whites-only Rock Hill lunch counter.

Those criminal convictions would be wiped clean forever under a bill that could be introduced in the Legislature as early as this week, lawmakers said. The proposed law would pardon those nine protesters, and so many others just like them around the state, for challenging segregation during the civil rights era.

The law would be named, fittingly, “The Friendship Nine Act.”

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