PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CNA) — Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed an official pardon on June 29 for an Irish Catholic man who was hanged in the state for a crime he didn’t commit in 1845.
The move closes an ugly chapter in the long history of discrimination against Catholics in the U.S. and follows the May 4 decision by the Rhode Island Legislature to pardon John Gordon, a 29-year-old Irish immigrant who was executed for a murder many say he was falsely accused of.
“Rhode Island is reaffirming its commitment to religious tolerance,” Nancy Schultz, Ph.D. of Salem State University in Massachusetts told CNA on June 29.
Schultz said the pardon is evidence of a growing consciousness about...READ MORE