Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Survivor of lynching earns Indiana pardon

Survivor of lynching earns Indiana pardon

  • 0

MILWAUKEE (AP) - An African-American author who survived a lynching 62 years

ago received a pardon Thursday from Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh for a crime he said

he never committed.

James Cameron, 78, founder of America's Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee,

was 16 when he and two companions were dragged from a jail in Marion, Ind.,

after being accused of murdering a white man and raping his companion.

Cameron, author of "A Time of Terror," said his two companions were hanged.

There was a rope around his neck when someone in the crowd came to his defense

and he was returned to jail, he said.

After four years in prison for being an accessory to voluntary manslaughter,

he was paroled. He began petitioning for in 1991 for a pardon.

Bayh issued the pardon, saying Cameron "has remained crime-free for 61

years" and has "earned the confidence and support from his peers in the


The Indiana Parole Board recommended the pardon 4-1, chairman Joseph Smith


It means the state "forgives you for that crime," Smith said. "It does not

clear the record."

"It's quite an emotional thing," Cameron said after getting the news from

Smith. "I'm going to pray tonight."

He said there may be a celebration when he next visits Marion. He was in the

community last month for the Black History Council of Marion's celebration of

Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.

"The whole city, I think, is going to join in," Cameron said.

Cameron's cousin Thomas Wise, a Marion police detective, said Cameron "has

really lived a model life since that incident. If he would have his slate

cleared, that would mean an awful lot to him."

A publisher plans another printing of Cameron's book. He said it will have

new information about a sheriff who he says was a Ku Klux Klan member at the

time of the incident Aug. 7, 1930, and about grand jury records that show "it

was a put-up job."


Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News


Entertainment & Dining

Latest News

Local Sports

NWI Prep Sport News

Weather Alerts