Earnest Thomas was killed by an angry mob during a manhunt. Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin were shot by the controversial Sheriff Willis McCall after he said they tried to escape. Irvin survived, and he and Charles Greenlee spent much of their lives in prison after being convicted by an all-white jury.
Greenlee and Irvin were eventually paroled after serving lengthy prison sentences.
The case is getting renewed focus after Sen. Marco Rubio, Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis and newly elected Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried spoke publicly about the need to posthumously pardon the men.
"Seventy years is a long time," DeSantis said. "And that's the amount of time four young men have been wrongly written into Florida history for crimes they did not commit and punishments they did not deserve."
Recently, the Lake County Commission and all four Lake County constitutional officers wrote letters asking for the Groveland Four to be cleared.
Outgoing Florida Gov. Rick Scott and other Republicans on the state clemency board have refused to take up the pardon request, even though the Florida Legislature last year formally apologized and asked for a pardon.
The Groveland Four's story was recounted in Gilbert King's Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Devil in the Grove."