It is never too late for justice to be served

Published 9:07 am Friday, January 26, 2007

By Staff
We applaud the federal government for its vigilance in bringing to justice those involved with civil rights-era killings.
This week in Mississippi, 71-year-old James Seale was charged with the murder of two black teens in 1964.
Federal authorities have now arrested 28 individuals with connections to civil rights-era killings since 1989.
As recounted in the movie "Ghost of Mississippi," the state of Mississippi re-opened the assassination of NAACP leader Medgar Evers in 1989.
Authorities in seven states investigated 29 killings and came away with 22 convictions.
The most recent conviction came in 2005 when Edgar Ray Killen was found guilty of manslaughter. Killen was charged with arranging the Ku Klux Klan's murders of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.
With each arrest and subsequent conviction, we are reminded of an ugly time in our nation's history. A time, unfortunately, when African Americans feared for their lives on a daily basis. A time when justice, if it came at all, was usually nothing more than a mere slap on the hand of the guilty party.
That changed in 1989 when a few brave people in the Jackson, Miss. District Attorney's office decided it was time to finally bring to justice Byron De La Beckwith. For more than 30 years, Beckwith was allowed to go free despite the fact that most everyone knew he had killed Evers.
The persistence of wife Myrlie Evers finally convinced Ed Peters and Bobby DeLaughter of the district attorney's office to bring charges once again against Beckwith.
His eventual conviction signaled the start of the long process of bringing to justice the individuals who participated in those heinous slayings.
The arrest of Seale, who was charged with two counts of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to commit kidnapping, means that efforts will continue throughout the south to undo the wrongs of this violent time in our country.
We hope that every effort will be made to bring those involved in these murders to justice no matter how long it takes.