Lena Baker Story, The (2010): Only Woman Sentenced to Die in Georgia

Lena Baker is the only woman ever sentenced to die in the electric chair in the state of Georgia. Baker was just 44 years old when she died in 1945. An impoverished African-American mother in

In rural Georgia in the early 1900s, Baker inadvertently killed a White man during a struggle in a desperate attempt to break free of a long history of physical and mental abuse. With a dismissive lawyer by her side, a jury of 12 Caucasian men found her guilty in a trial and deliberation that, together, lasted less than four hours. She died a barbaric death, requiring several shocks and lasting six minutes.
Due to a long clemency campaign led by her family, including in more recent years her grand-nephew Roosevelt Curry, Georgia’s Pardon and Parole Board finally granted a posthumous pardon in 2005 – six decades after her execution – ruling that a “grievous error” occurred when she was denied clemency following her trial. “I believe she’s somewhere around God’s throne and can look down and smile,” reflects Curry.
 Based on Baker’s life, the wrenching, feature-length docudrama, The Lena Baker Story, is highlighted by a stellar ensemble cast including Tichina Arnold (TV’sEverybody Hates Chris and Martin), who expands beyond her notable comedic repertoire as Baker in this moving and critically acclaimed, breakout dramatic performance – Beverly Todd (The Bucket List, Crash, TV’s Roots) and Emmy Award-winner Peter Coyote, who has appeared in over 120 films and television series.
The film was written, produced and directed by Ralph Wilcox, CEO of Schusters Cash, a film, television and video production company; owner of Jokara-Micheaux Studio, a 22,000-square-foot movie studio in Colquitt, Georgia; and director of the Southwest Georgia Film Commission.
“We tend to forget history and believe that we’ve all moved on,” says Wilcox. “There has been a lot of progress in our society and race relations, but we need not forget where we have been, lest we repeat our past. And, even though Lena was flawed, this film was an opportunity to give her the voice she was denied 65 years ago … each and everyone one of us deserves that.”