The “Wilmington 10,” nine Black men and one white woman convicted of firebombing a grocery store in 1972 in Wilmington, N.C., were formally pardoned, 40 years after they were convicted by a jury. The civil rights activists were pardoned Monday by the state’s outgoing governor. “These convictions were tainted by naked racism and represent an ugly stain on North Carolina’s criminal justice system that cannot be allowed to stand any longer,” said Gov. Beverly Purdue. “Justice demands that this stain finally be removed.” Though their sentences were reduced in 1978 and eventually overturned entirely, the convictions remained.