MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Gov. Bob Riley has signed legislation that sets up a process to pardon civil rights icon Rosa Parks and hundreds of others arrested for violating segregation-era laws.
Riley signed the bill April 21 without making an official announcement, Jeff Emerson, the governor’s communications director, said yesterday.
Those arrested or family members of those who have died would have to request the pardons under the bill, which passed April 17.
The Rosa Parks Act could lead to pardons for Parks, civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and hundreds of others convicted of violating laws aimed at keeping the races separate.
Parks was arrested 50 years ago for refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city bus, an event that sparked the historic Montgomery bus boycott.