More Prosecutions Possible in Neshoba Slayings?

We are transferring a posting from BenG (from the Hungry Blues blog) here in order to have a more substantive conversation about it and not take away from the Dee-Moore discussion where it was originally posted:

BenG:

The Jerry Mitchell this-could-be-the-last-one comment is also strange when his own journalism suggests Hood and Duncan misrepresented the nature of the Chaney, Goodman, Schwerner murders, possibly for the purpose of keeping that investigation as narrow as possible, with so many other living suspects who have already been successfully prosecuted on federal civil rights charges. I forget how to do the hyper links in this system, so here's the Mitchell story I'm thinking of:

http://orig.clarionledger.com/news/0006/04/04miburn.html

Despite the evidence that Mitchell turned up that Chaney was tortured (different from the white vicitims), and despite the old autopsy report by David Spain that Chaney had bullets from three different guns lodged in his body, Hood and Duncan asserted that Chaney was killed by a single gunman, James Jordan.

For the Duncan and Hood remarks, see:

http://www.neshobademocrat.com/main.asp?FromHome=1&TypeID=1&ArticleID=10597&SectionID=2&SubSectionID=297

Previous Comments

ID
141932
Comment

Knowing who is alive and who isn't in the Neshoba case, I can understand the difficulty of further prosecutions (and am not convinced that acquittals in weak cases would help a whole lot). However, I've never really understood why the state hasn't gone after Billy Wayne Posey harder. Or, if they played hard ball enough over threatening prosecution in order to get one of the conspirators to testify in exchange for immunity, as seems to be the case in the Seale case.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T15:21:57-06:00
ID
141933
Comment

Along the lines of your point on the Dee Moore thread about the importance of telling the whole story, I think that these cases should be pursued as much for the process of discovery as for who actually gets convicted. I would like to see prosecutors be as ambitious as possible in their investigations in order to get as much of the story on the official record as possible--and to get as many people who have information on the stand and under oath. I know that what I propose may be costly and an unconventional use of legal mechanisms--but one could say the same thing about the hundreds of thousands of dollars poured into the Sovereignty Commission.

Author
Ben G.
Date
2007-02-05T15:52:22-06:00
ID
141934
Comment

True, Ben. I completely see your point. I never bought that prosecuting Killen was supposed to be some kind of "closure" for the state—although I understand that it was a potent symbol for the families. But, as you recall, even Rita Schwerner Bender challenged the media right after the verdict to look at other cases and keep seeking the truth and justice.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T15:56:23-06:00
ID
141935
Comment

Right, exactly. I'm just emphasizing specifically the remaining known, living suspects in the Neshoba murders case. As long as those eight men (down from nine, now that Bowers is dead) remain unbothered by the Grand Jury, it is a significant emblem of an overall lack of political will to pursue a full measure of truth and justice in the Neshoba murders and in other cases. I say "overall" as in total, since clearly you and others in Mississippi are advocating for more than has occurred so far.

Author
Ben G.
Date
2007-02-05T16:41:03-06:00
ID
141936
Comment

It would be so much easier for the State of Mississippi to get the very needed treatment (psychological and medical) and get WELL or CURED if the complete truth could just be told once and for all about the depth and extent of the depravity, brutality, and inhumanity occurring here with respect to the race issue. It appears the disease or pathology of racism and white supremacy ran so deep that letting the truth out would render Mississippi without a single white person or white leader (political, governmental, business, academic, educational) who is unstained or unsoiled by the mess and violence of racism in our inglorious past. Why else would the state need a sovreigntry commission - except to hide the truth? How ugly, stupid and mentally diseased we still appear to the world and ourselves as we lie about the past, continue much of the same conduct whether by stealth, sublime or openly, then get mad and outright indignant when someone says Mississippi is still largely defined by racism and white supremacy or say "who would want to live in Mississippi?" If this same unjustified outrage and hatred of outsiders could be bottled and directed toward real and genuine transformation, we wouldn't have to fight this stupid fight over and over again. But when racism and lying denials still define and blind us, what can anyone expect?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-02-05T17:02:34-06:00
ID
141937
Comment

Strong and excellent words, Ray.

Author
Ben G.
Date
2007-02-05T17:10:46-06:00
ID
141938
Comment

Agreed. Right on.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T17:27:31-06:00
ID
141939
Comment

"A cancer unacknowledged and untreated will destroy the carrier everytime". Unnamed oncologist.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-02-05T17:29:30-06:00
ID
141940
Comment

Y'know, every time I think about the prosecution of these pathetic old creeps, it reminds me of the Nuremberg trials. Did hanging a few Nazi generals bring "closure" to the victims of the Holocaust? Of course not. But it was a potent symbol. The issue, for me, is not that these old men get convicted. The issue for me is that they get indicted by a grand jury. If no conviction is returned, fine. If they plead out and serve six months, fine. If charges are ultimately dropped again, so be it. If they die of old age before a verdict is returned, good riddance. Justice is impossible in these cases anyway; the suspects have gotten away with murder for too long, and having them spend the last year or two of their long and happy lives napping in a jail cell is not going to change that. But we can at least show that we give a damn, and we can see to it that their names are forever linked to the murders. It's the least we can do for the victims. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2007-02-05T17:46:22-06:00
ID
141941
Comment

Yep. Simply putting the spotlight on these cases and giving it our best shot sends a message to the victims—not to mention ourselves and our neighbors—that we give a damn. Good enough for me.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-02-05T17:50:44-06:00
ID
141942
Comment

sometimes its what you do that defines who you are, not the result.

Author
Kingfish
Date
2007-02-05T17:54:38-06:00
ID
141943
Comment

Will this approach free whatshisname from prison? After all, (and I'm no lawyer), if the defense can come back with evidence that the prosecution hid, lies, and other hijinks, won't the idiot walk free?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-02-05T17:54:54-06:00

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