Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied... Until Now

In memory of James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner-- We never forgot you.

Killen Guilty of Manslaughter in '64 Civil Rights Killings

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. -- An 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman was convicted of manslaughter Tuesday in the 1964 slayings of three civil rights workers -- exactly 41 years after they disappeared.

The jury of nine whites and three blacks reached the verdict on their second day of deliberations, rejecting murder charges against Edgar Ray Killen.

Killen showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He was comforted by his wife as he said in his wheelchair. He was wearing an oxygen tube. Heavily armed police a barrier outside a side door to the courthouse and jurors were loaded into two waiting vans and driven away.

The verdict was 41 years to the date after James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were ambushed, beaten, and shot.

Prosecutors had asked the jury to send a message to the rest of the world that Mississippi has changed and is committed to bringing to justice those who killed to preserve segregation in the 1960s. They said the evidence was clear that Killen organized the attack on the three victims.

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