Monday, January 21, 2008
Vile murder of civil rights workers remembered
BY TIFFANI GILBERT
(Tiffani Gilbert was an eighth grader at South Middle School during the 2005-2006 school year.)
Three murders... all performed by the same vile man... Edgar Ray Killen. Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney, were murdered during what most know as the "Freedom Summer" of 1964. Bruised bodies, gunshot wounds covered the three bodies and were found in a rotting heap by a dam. After finding the bodies not a great effort was made to find the murderer. Thanks to pro-civil-rights FBI workers, President Lyndon Johnson and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, searched high and low for the mysterious murder.
(Edgar Ray Killen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (no author); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Ray_Killen)
Movies were made based on this sad tale. The Mississippi Burning for example, based the story upon this manslaughter. Years later, 2005, the murders are being brought up again with court. Killen was arrested for the three murders January 6, but was released on a bond shortly after convicted. April 18 Killen's trial was assigned, but was rescheduled seeing how he broke both his legs chopping wood on his property in Neshoba County. (Wikipedia)
Killen has already faced several trials, (1965, 1967, 2005 [trial dates]) His latest trial began June 13, 2005... Killen was finally convicted on June 23 with 60 years with three counts of manslaughter, 20 years for each count. Killen's lawyer was claiming how just 10 years would be a life sentence for this man, now in his 80's; Judge Gordon stated that, "Each life lost was valuable and strongly asserted, the law made no distinction of age for the crime, and that the maximum sentence should be imposed regardless of Killen's age." (Wikipedia)
Edgar was a former Ku Klux Klan recruiter and preacher. Preacher a man of religion, one who beiebes in honest, pure life, instead of Killen's tainted view on the world around him. Killen was a man who lied and killed without remorse. "Should this have been done 40 years ago? Absolutely. Is there more work to be done? Clearly. But this is one significant step toward redemption for Neshoba County and for the state of Mississippi," Killen said. (Ex-KKK Member Guilty in Killings - Bill Nichols and Jerry Mitchell; http://web29epnet.com/citation.asp?tb=1&_ug=sid+4BAAB946%2D3C7F%2D47A8%2DB240%40sessionmgr6+dbs+nfh+cp+2+18)
The case on its 41st anniversary.. too long a time for this case to go without justice. Killen, after about a month or so, was freed from an appeal bond. The 80 year-old Killen, is on the loose again, lying his way through judges and the jury. This man shouldn't be back out of prison... the man boasted about killing these three men; three valuable lives, beaten and host down by Killen and his racist friends. Killen never showed any remorse, usually bragging about these killings. (Time Can't Quench Thirst For Justice - USA Today; http://web29epnet.com/citation.asp?tb=1&_ug=sid+4BAAB946%2D3C7F%2D47A8%2DB240%40sessionmgr6+dbs+nfh+cp+2+18)
Racism has always been a big issue, but white vs. black, is probably the most common racist groups during the Freedom Summer of 1964, and the whole civil rights era in general. The Birmingham Bombing, the murder of Emmett Till, the murder of state NAACP leader Medgar Evers, all took place during this civil rights era something America could and would never forget. Most of these cases though, are being put back up for trial, hopefully catching the murderers of these innocent people. Frank Cherry was convicted in 2002 for the Birmingham Bombing in 1963, hopefully the same will happen to Killen, and we wouldn't have to worry about this man much longer. (Ex-KKK Members -Jerry Mitchell)
During the trial the judge had stated that he wanted Killen locked up. That he didn't want a crazed man walking or wheeling around his society. Edgar Ray (Preacher) Killen, Jerry McGrew Shrpe, Ethel Glen "Hop" Barnett, did not have a definite verdict, but Deputy Sheriff Cecil Ray Price, Jimmy Arledge, Sam Bowers, Wayne Roberts, Jimmy Snowden, Billy Wayne Posey, Horace Doyle Barnette were all guilty in this crime. (The Verdict Memebers of the Jury Newspaper Articles About the Jury - no author; http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/price&bowers/jury.html)
The latest trial had lasted about ten days, when the verdict was read June 23, 2005, guilty of manslaughter. After 40 days or so, an appeal bond set up by his defense lawyer released Killen. Should Killen have been released? No. Should Killen be in jail for those three men's lives? Of course. Killen shouldn't be allowed to prance about, knowing that he killed those civil rights workers.. Killen should be in jail, paying his 60 years in his rightful place... prison. The law doesn't hold itself responsible for the age of the convicted person, and shouldn't matter. A person should just take the fall and spend their allotted time in prison, not being allowed to get out until the time is fully served. Killen a preacher, didn't serve six months of the charge, but was left off 40 days later after the verdict! Justice isn't being served like it should, justice's thirst won't be filled until this man is back in prison, serving his time for those three men's valuable lives! (Wikipedia)
Edgar Ray (Preacher) KIllen is freed from jail without making a dent in his 60 years that he had to spend in there, knowing that he was freed becuase of some of America's stupidity. Cold hard evidence was brought to the stand, yet America passed it by like just another television sitcom or the CSI or Law and Order. During the Civil Rights era, there was no law... there was no order; here were just people who killed because of color... This is just one of the many cases of the Civil Rights era.