Contributed by klstacy_home
Description: Pardon Is Granted - Clemency to Two Men Who Violated Peonage LawDate: September 16 1903
Newspaper published in: Washington, DC
Page/Column: Page 1, Column 4
PARDON IS GRANTED
CLEMENCY TO TWO MEN WHO
VIOLATED PEONAGE LAW.
The Judge Who Sentenced Them Urges the
President to Show Mercy and the Latter Assents.
The President has granted full and unconditional pardons to George D. and Barancas F. Cosby, convicted at Montgomery, Ala., of violation of the peonage law. These men were indicted for holding Pike Swanson, colored, in a condition of peonage, pleaded guilty on June 30, 1903, and on the same day were sentenced to imprisonment for a year and a day in the United States penitentiary at Atlanta, Ga. They have been imprisoned ever since, and today were released on telegraphic instructions from the Department of Justice.
During the month of June more than eighty indictments against a number of individuals for violation of the peonage law (Sec. 6626, R. S.) were returned by the grand jury at Montgomery, and several convictions were obtained, the sentences imposed ranging from the minimum, one year, to the maximum, five years.
Judge Jones' Letter.
The President granted the pardons in these cases upon the earnest recommendation of Judge Jones, who sentenced the prisoners. The letter of Judge Jones is made public by direction of the President.
"To the President:
"George D. Cosby and Barancas F. Cosby
of Tallapoosa county, Ala,, each pleaded guilty to separate indictments on June 30, 1903, in the district court of the United States for the middle district of Alabama, charging them with violation of section 5520 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, for holding Pike Swanson and others to a condition of peonage, and were sentenced on the same day to imprisonment in the United States penitentiary at Atlanta, Ga., for a year and a day. As the term of court which these sentences were imposed has not yet expired numerous petitions have been addressed to the court to suspend the further execution of the sentences. This explains why many of the petitions sent herewith are not addressed to the President. I forward these papers and applications of the prisoners for pardon.”