Alabama governor signs law to pardon Rosa Parks, civil rights activists

Alabama governor signs law to pardon Rosa Parks, civil rights activists

[JURIST] Alabama Governor Bob Riley [official website] has signed the Rosa Parks Act [JURIST document], legislation that authorizes pardons for Rosa Parks [TIME profile], the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [King Center profile] and other civil rights activists convicted of violating Jim Crow laws in the state. Those seeking a pardon, or family members of those deceased, will have to apply for a pardon, though arrest records of Parks and others will remain at museums where they are on display. Riley signed the legislation last week without making an official announcement and his office only confirmed his signature Thursday. The bill was passed by the Alabama legislature [JURIST report] earlier this month.

Rosa Parks helped trigger the civil rights movement across the US after she was arrested in Montgomery, AL, in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. Parks died last year [JURIST report] at the age of 92. AP has more.