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Friendship 9 Civil Rights Protesters To Have Convictions Cleared After More Than 50 Years

In 1961, 10 African-Americans were convicted of trespassing and breach of the peace for refusing to leave a McCrory’s store all-white lunch counter in downtown Rock Hill, South Carolina. The men were given two options at sentencing: serve 30 days in jail, or pay a $100 dollar fine.  Nine of the 10 chose jail and received 30 days of hard labor at the York County Prison farm. It was the beginning of the “Jail, No Bail” strategy of the Civil Rights Movement. That group of nine is known as the Friendship Nine, named for the junior college many of them attended.

Their convictions are still on the books. That will change today.

York County’s Solicitor Kevin Brackett will tell a judge the convictions should be cleared. WFAE's Marshall Terry spoke to him outside the courtroom where today’s hearing will take place.