A Second Chance for Justice January 26, 2011

Justice Delayed is Not Justice Denied

Award Winning Novel Dead Weight and Author’s Efforts Bring
South Carolina to Consider a Pardon for
A Century Old Execution in Charleston

A Second Chance for Justice January 26, 2011

Charleston, SC –January 5, 2011- Daniel Cornelius ‘Nealy’ Duncan did not go silently to his execution in Charleston a century ago. A young black man of respectable employment on the eve of his wedding Duncan was arrested, tried and executed for the murder of a white merchant. His last words, “I am an innocent man. I wait to meet you all in Heaven.” In a final note, he forgave those who testified against him and stated, “Tell my family and friends that I am at rest, because I am innocent, and the Lord knows that I am today. They have taken advantage of me for something that I know nothing about. But that will be all right. I will meet you when the roll is called.”

“There were at least two things that made me want to write this story,” according to Dead Weight author and former journalist Batt Humphreys, “The first was this young man’s exceptional sense of grace. The second was the hurricane that followed his execution, still known as the Duncan storm, retribution on Charleston for the death of an innocent man.”

On January 26 in Columbia, SC the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon will rule on Humphreys’ request for a posthumous pardon for Duncan.

“There is legal precedent to pardon Nealy based on testimony, proceedings and an appeal that followed the trial to the SC Supreme Court, but more importantly, there is a moral precedent to correct what is otherwise nothing but another Jim Crow judicial lynching,” says Humphreys.

After writing the novel Humphreys petitioned the state for a pardon. “The pardon is a chance tocorrect an injustice and to restore honor, even if it never connects to his immediate family. For those who believe in the continuity of souls, somewhere he will know and somehow we will have helped restore what was taken from him.”

The petition was submitted in the spring of 2008. The process of petition and review has spanned over two years, “It will be time and effort well spent, if the State makes what would be a just and fitting ruling.”

Mr. Humphreys is available for interviews.