“We’re sorry that reporters and editors failed in our duty to readers, to the community and to the Groveland Four and their families.”
The case was the subject of Gilbert King’s 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America
,” which set in motion the state’s reexamination of the case. After recounting the details of the case and coverage, the editorial continued:
“The story had many more ugly twists and turns marked by lies, cover-ups and injustice.
“You wouldn’t know it from reading the Orlando Morning Sentinel in the years immediately following the incident.
“Instead, the paper inflamed the public several days later, publishing on the front page a cartoon that showed four empty electric chairs and labeled ‘The Lake County Tragedy’ and ‘The Supreme Penalty.’ Above the cartoon, a title read, ‘No Compromise!’ The cartoon ran just as a grand jury was convening. It quickly returned murder indictments against the men.”