Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Southern Justice

It only took 41 years but then everything in the laid back south kinda runs on its own timetable. But from yesterday's report of a jury locked at 6:6, this is a pretty rapid turnaround:
An 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman was convicted of manslaughter Tuesday in the slayings of three civil rights workers exactly 41 years ago in a notorious case that inspired the movie "Mississippi Burning."

The jury of nine whites and three blacks reached the verdict on their second day of deliberations, rejecting murder charges against Edgar Ray Killen but also turning aside defense claims that he wasn't involved at all.
But a widow of one of the victim's makes the most important acknowledgment:
Schwerner's widow, Rita Schwerner Bender, praised the verdict, calling it "a day of great importance to all of us." But she said others also should be held responsible for the slayings.

"Preacher Killen didn't act in a vacuum," Bender said. "The state of Mississippi was complicit in these crimes and all the crimes that occurred, and that has to be opened up."
Substitute Pfc. England for Preacher Killen and United States for Mississippi -the more things change ... Well, at least it didn't take 41 years for the convictions that did result from the Abu Ghraib travesty.