Saturday, January 08, 2005

Mississippi turning

It was the Jackson Clarion-Ledger's publication, in 1999, of parts of a sealed interview given by a KKK wizard that prompted the case of the State of Mississippi against Edgar Ray Killen for the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964.* Killen was arraigned yesterday.

The Clarion-Ledger's investigation into this story since 1999 has been incredible. Here are examples of what reporters found:

Killen, a Baptist preacher, escaped federal conviction in 1967 because one juror said she could never convict a preacher.

Mickey Schwerner's widow received a death certificate saying her husband died of an unknown cause.

While the two white men, Schwerner and Goodman, were killed by gunshot, Chaney suffered a fate more typical for the likes of him.

Says today's editorial, "It is a reckoning of blood and justice that is long overdue."

An UPDATE from the Amen Corner.

*UPDATE 2: It wasn't just the paper. It was also the Philadelphia Coalition, an activist group made up of blacks, whites, and native Americans. Hear about it and more on the January 11 edition of NPR's On Point.

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