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  • NEW YORK — It is one of the more overworked words in America today: closure, the suggestion that a single moment or event will somehow end the abiding pain of having lost a loved one. If Osama bin Laden is ever captured, we are sure to hear talk of closure. Are we to believe that every 9/11 family will then find peace?
  • Edgar Ray Killen did his community’s bidding. It was of no little consequence that Ronald Reagan launched his successful presidential bid from here. Were it not for outside agitators he probably could have been elected to Congress and even become Majority Leader of the US Senate.
  • Our View – Forty-one years later, justice is finally served for Edgar Ray Killen. On June 21, 1964, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner were murdered along a dark roadside in Neshoba County. Exactly 41 years later, Edgar Ray Killen became the first man to be convicted on state charges related to the horrific murders. The irony of 41 years elapsing before justice was served, at least partially, should not be forgotten.
  • Some in the national media and in the ranks of those for whom racial strife is a cottage industry chose to point to the fact that Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of three counts of manslaughter rather than murder as evidence that Mississippi is still mired in racial discord.
  • There’s no dateline on this column to note where it was written. Technically, it was done in Tupelo, but the column actually originated in Philadelphia.
  • PHILADELPHIA — It’s not the kind of thing folks talk about over sweaty glasses of sweet iced tea, not in this polite little town of 7,300, where blacks and whites mostly appear to live in harmony and strangers give each other friendly nods as they pass on the courthouse square.
  • I was one of the first two reporters to arrive in Philadelphia, Miss., in 1964, on the day Mickey Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman went missing. I was there as Newsweek’s main reporter on the Southern civil rights beat, and I went directly to the courthouse with Claude Sitton of the New York Times to question Sheriff Lawrence Rainey and Deputy Cecil Price.
  • PHILADELPHIA, Miss. — In small towns, news always travels fast. So it didn’t take long for the hordes of visitors in town for the Edgar Ray Killen trial to find out about Peggy’s Restaurant.
  • As the Killen trial closed last week, Judge Marcus Gordon made some interesting comments about the scores of news reporters, photographers and producers that had been hard at work in Philadelphia for weeks.
  • Last Monday evening, after deliberating more than two hours, the jury reported to Judge Marcus Gordon that they were evenly divided and he dismissed them for the night. But after deliberating for nearly three more hours on Tuesday morning, they reached a unanimous verdict.
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