From Death Row to Freedom: The Struggle for Racial Justice in the Pitts-Lee Case (Hardcover)

From Death Row to Freedom: The Struggle for Racial Justice in the Pitts-Lee Case By Phillip A. Hubbart Cover Image
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Florida Book Awards, Silver Medal for Florida Nonfiction

Florida Historical Society Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Award

An insider's account of a wrongful conviction and the fight to overturn it during the civil rights era

book is an insider's account of the case of Freddie Pitts and Wilbert
Lee, two Black men who were wrongfully charged and convicted of the
murder of two white gas station attendants in Port St. Joe, Florida, in
1963, and sentenced to death. Phillip Hubbart, a defense lawyer for
Pitts and Lee for more than 10 years, examines the crime, the trial, and
the appeals with both a keen legal perspective and an awareness of the
endemic racism that pervaded the case and obstructed justice.

discusses how the case against Pitts and Lee was based entirely on
confessions obtained from the defendants and an alleged "eyewitness"
through prolonged, violent interrogations and how local authorities
repeatedly rejected later evidence pointing to the real killer, a white
man well known to the Port St. Joe police. The book follows the case's
tortuous route through the Florida courts to the defendants' eventual
exoneration in 1975 by the Florida governor and cabinet.

From Death Row to Freedom
is a thorough chronicle of deep prejudice in the courts and brutality
at the hands of police during the civil rights era of the 1960s. Hubbart
argues that the Pitts-Lee case is a piece of American history that must
be remembered, along with other similar incidents, in order for the
country to make any progress toward racial reconciliation today.

Publication of this work made
possible by a Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan
grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780813069722
ISBN-10: 0813069726
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Publication Date: June 13th, 2023
Pages: 420
Language: English