Lena Baker's family puts her to rest - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lena Baker's family puts her to rest

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May 11, 2003

Cuthbert- It was a special Mother's day for Lena Baker's family and Cuthbert residents, as they held a memorial service for Baker, the first woman electrocuted in the state. Tears flowed from many eyes in honor of Lena Baker. The woman who many say justice did not serve. Just hours before being electrocuted, Lena looked straight into the eyes of death. Her nephew, Roosevelt Curry says, "Can you imagine you being behind bars and just waiting to die, when you shouldn't die."

Roosevelt Curry was responsible for the memorial service. He says it's time for a change in Cuthbert, a city that he says kept his aunt's story from surfacing for years. He adds, "We want to bring about a change. We'll be here until a change comes." =

Lena Baker's family says it took fifty-eight years for this long over what they call a long over due funeral to occur, but on this mother's day, they say her spirit will finally rest.

Another nephew, Charles McElveen, says "Today is mother's day, and she was a mother, and she went through pure hell." If you're going to be a Christian, you're going to have to go through some trials and tribulations."

Lena's nephew, Rev. Dr. Charles McElveen says Lena faced the ultimate trial but her spirit and faith endured. He adds, "To know that his thing happened. It was a travesty of justice. It just saddens your spirit."

Spirits were uplifted during Lena's home going. Many say now say they will forever carry Lena's story in their hearts. It's a story they say everyone can learn from.

Family members say they plan to try to clear Baker's name by going before the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. Lena Baker had three children, two of which are now deceased. She is buried behind Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Cuthbert, Georgia.

Posted at 6:30PM by Jocelyn.Maner@walb.com