After seven years of imprisonment, applications and appeals, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti went to their deaths in the electric chair in Boston prison on the night of 23 August 1927. Charged with a hold-up that claimed two lives, a hold-up which they had not carried out, the two Italian immigrants were found guilty of the crime of being anarchists. The deaths of Sacco and Vanzetti triggered a huge wave of protest throughout the world and etched their names into the historical record.
Fifty years later on 23 August 1977, the Massachusetts state governor publicly acknowledged the innocence of the victims and requested that 'all stigma and stain be erased forever from the names of Sacco and Vanzetti and their family names.'
The young Spanish anarchists Joaquín Delgado and Francisco Granados were executed by garrotte on 16 August 1963. Charged with two bombings which they had not carried out, they were convicted solely on the basis of their being anarchists. Their deaths did not trigger a huge world-wide wave of protest such as the shooting of the Communist leader Julián Grimau had just a few months before. The 'cold war' and the Franco dictatorship had marginalised the anarchists, which is why their names have been banished to terse footnotes in history books about Francoism.
Thirty six years on, on 3 March 1999, under judgement No 7, the Military Division of the Supreme Court pronounced that the verdict in 1963 had been delivered in accordance with the 'prevailing legal disposition' and rejected the application for a review submitted by the relations of Granados and Delgado on 3 February 1998. On 16 April 1999, an application to appeal against the Supreme Court decision was made to the Constitutional Court.
Arrested in Madrid on 31 July 1963, Francisco Granados and Joaquín Delgado were sentenced to death by a 'drum-head' court martial on 13 August the same year and executed - 'garrotted' - on 16 August 1963. Which means: within two weeks of their arrest! That's how slickly Francoist justice operated! Charged with having carried out two bombings in which they had had no part, they were found guilty simply because of their membership of the Spanish Libertarian Movement (MLE) - openly committed to the struggle against General Franco's dictatorial rule - by Franco's 'Justice' which needed to sustain its terror in order to cling to power.
On 3 March 1999, thirty six years on, and in spite of the 'Transition to Democracy', the Military Division of the Supreme Court dismissed the application for review tabled on 3 February 1998 by the families of Francisco Granados and Joaquín Delgado, and declined to take under consideration statements from the actual perpetrators of the 1963 bombings in Madrid. The most shameful point is that the magistrates of the Military Division of the Supreme Court explained away their decision on the basis of the 'time elapsed' and expressed the opinion that the 1963 verdict had been delivered by a court that represented the 'prevailing legal arrangements'. On 9 March 1999, on the initiative of all of the groups in the Parliament of Catalunya, a 'Repeal Motion' was passed asking the Spanish state government to review the trial that passed sentence of death in 1974 upon the young Catalan anti-Francoist, Salvador Puig Antich. On 16 April 1999, the families of Granados and Delgado tabled before the Constitutional Court an appeal against the 3 March 1999 finding of the Supreme Court's Military Division.
Following a number of initiatives designed to support this appeal, the 'Granados-Delgado Trial Review Group' instigated a publicity campaign on 15 November 2000, and asks that letters be sent to the following addresses: