The NAACP undertook its first major legal case in 1910 by defending Pink Franklin, a black South Carolina sharecropper accused of murder. When Franklin left his employer after receiving an advance on his wages, a warrant was sworn out for his arrest under an invalid state law. Armed policemen arrived at Frankiln’s cabin before dawn to serve the warrant without stating their purpose and a gun battle ensued, killing one officer. Franklin was convicted of the murder and sentenced to death. The NAACP appealed to South Carolina Governor Martin F. Ansel, and Frankiln’s sentence was commuted to life in prison. Eventually, he was set free in 1919.
article found @http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/naacp/founding-and-early-years.html