0

Baker death penalty pardon observed

ALBANY, Ga. — Today marks the seventh anniversary of the pardon of Lena Baker, who was executed in Georgia’s electric chair in 1945.

Baker, who lived in Randolph County, held the distinction of being the only woman to be executed by electrocution in Georgia.

She was a black maid who was executed for murder on charges of killing her employer, Ernest Knight, in 1944. At her trial she said that he had imprisoned and threatened to shoot her should she try to leave. She took his gun and shot him

In 2005 Baker was granted a full and unconditional pardon by the State of Georgia, 60 years after her execution. The movie “The Lena Baker Story,” is about her life.

Her nephew, Roosevelt Curry, received the papers pardoning Baker posthumously. The pardon stated the 1945 decision to deny her clemency and execute her was “a grievous error.”

“It was an injustice. It was wrong,” Curry said. “I want to thank the board for the pardon.”

“The truth has never been told. She was abused,” Curry said. “Only God and those two know what happened. Her children spent 60 more years crying for their mama. They are dead now.”

Baker was buried in the Vernon Missionary Baptist Church cemetery in Coleman.