But I don’t have to like it:
Edgar Ray Killen, the former Klansman whose conviction in June in the 1964 killing of three civil rights workers in Mississippi seemed to close one of the state’s darkest chapters, was released yesterday when a judge granted bail pending an appeal.
The release raises the possibility that Mr. Killen, 80 and in poor health, will die a free man after serving barely six weeks of his sentence.
He was convicted on three counts of manslaughter on June 21, 41 years to the day after a mob of Klansmen killed the three campaigners – James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner – in an incident that galvanized national support for the civil rights movement. Prosecutors said Mr. Killen organized the mob.
Judge Marcus Gordon of Circuit Court, who gave Mr. Killen the maximum possible sentence, said in court that he had little choice but to set bond while Mr. Killen appealed his conviction. Judge Gordon said the state had not proved that Mr. Killen, who uses a wheelchair, was a flight risk or threat.
“It’s not a matter of what I feel, it’s a matter of the law,” Judge Gordon said.
I want him to die in jail. Sooner, rather than later.