jueves, mayo 04, 2006

Innocent Mand Does Not Get Pardon


Only in the USA can a dead innocent man be denied a pardon by an openly racist governor.

This can tell you the brand of liberty and democracy that this country is trying to spread around the world, in their messianic quest for "Western values".

Clyde Kennar, a man that suffered the worst of treatments out of pure racial hatred by a White America that simply did not know what to do, will not have the benefit of having his name cleared.

And we are talking about a man that fought for his right to attend college. Since they could not stop him, they framed him, and he served a sentence for buying chicken feed, you read that right, for buying $25.00 USD worth of chicken feed that "he knew" was stolen he got a seven years in prison sentence.

In the mean time, the terrorists that were and are the file and rank of the Ku Kux Klan went about with their business without facing justice until decades later.

To make matters worst, Clyde was a war veteran, a person that according to the Great American Propaganda Machinery should be the recipient of all kinds of honors. Seems like the honors go only to the good ol' white boys "who put their lives on the line for their blessed nation".

Here you have the note:

Miss. Gov. Denies Pardon for Black Veteran

By SHELIA BYRD, Associated Press Writer 30 minutes ago

Gov. Haley Barbour won't grant a posthumous pardon to a black Korean War veteran who was wrongfully convicted in segregationist Mississippi after he tried to enroll in an all-white university.

Clyde Kennard was convicted of purchasing $25 worth of chicken feed he knew to be stolen in 1960 and sentenced to seven years in prison, but the only witness against him has recanted his testimony. Kennard died in 1963, after being released early because he had intestinal cancer.

Barbour agrees Kennard was wronged but says he won't grant a pardon, despite calls for him to clear the man's name.

"The governor hasn't pardoned anyone, whether they be alive or deceased," Barbour spokesman Pete Smith said Thursday. "The governor seems to think Kennard's rights would have been restored prior to him being governor, if he was still alive."

Kennard's relatives and The Center on Wrongful Convictions based at Northwestern University have petitioned the state Parole Board to recommend a pardon to the governor. The board is scheduled to act on the petition May 10, said Stephanie Skipper, the board's administrative secretary.

Beginning in 1956, after he served four years in the Army, Kennard repeatedly attempted to enroll at what is now the University of Southern Mississippi. His temerity drew the ire of segregationist leaders who were determined to fight integration at USM.

Kennard, a farmer, was arrested on reckless driving and possession of whiskey charges. Those charges were later thrown out by the Mississippi Supreme Court, but Kennard was then convicted on the chicken-feed charge.

The sole witness against him in the theft case, Johnny Lee Roberts, who lives in the Hattiesburg area, has since recanted his testimony.

Momentum in the Kennard case has increased as part of a wave of renewed investigations and prosecutions of civil rights crimes.

Last summer, reputed Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen was convicted of manslaughter in the 1964 killings of three civil rights activists in Neshoba County. In 1998, a Forrest County jury convicted Klan leader Sam Bowers in the 1966 death of Vernon Dahmer Sr., targeted for his efforts to help blacks register to vote. And in 1994, Byron de la Beckwith was convicted for the 1963 sniper killing of state NAACP leader Medgar Evers.

Kennard's supporters are baffled by Barbour's stance.

"I think that the governor's response demonstrates he's prejudged this case because the parole board has not yet made a recommendation to him," Steven Drizin, legal director for the center, said Thursday.

"The reasoning the governor has put forward to date doesn't make any sense as a matter of logic or as a matter of history. He seems to be saying that 'Clyde Kennard deserves a pardon, I think he's innocent, but we don't pardon dead people.'"

Barry Bradford — whose students at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill., have pored over thousands of documents in the case in hopes of clearing Kennard's name — said Barbour may become the first governor in U.S. history to refuse to pardon a man he has publicly proclaimed as innocent.

When Kennard returned home to Mississippi, he became active in the burgeoning civil rights movement. He was a member in the local chapter of the NAACP and was close friends with Dahmer.

Dahmer's widow, Ellie, said she doesn't understand Barbour's position "because I heard him say out of his own mouth that he believes he's innocent."

Ellie Dahmer said she tried to warn Kennard against enrolling at USM.

"He said he was trying to open it up so children like Bettie could get an education," Dahmer said, referring to her then-3-year-old daughter.

Bettie Dahmer eventually graduated from USM.


On the net:

The Clyde Kennard Story: http://www.clydekennard.org


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