February 23, 2006
Pardon Sought in Civil Rights Era Wrongful Conviction
Clyde Kennard is one of the unsung martyrs of the civil rights movement; he was convicted of a crime underquestionable circumstances after he sought admission to an all white university, and spent most of the rest of his life in prison, realeased only when terminally ill to die shortly thereafter. I mentioned his story in an article a few years ago. Gabriel J. Chin, Rehabilitating Unconstitutional Statutes, 71 U. Cin. L. Rev. 421, 447-48 (2002).
Now Northwestern CrimProf Steve Drizin and a high school teacher Barry Bradford and their students are seeking a pardon on the ground of actual innocence. Here's their message to you:
"Last year, you may recall, three of my students and I helped to get the Mississippi Burning murder case reopened, This year we have taken on another similar struggle and we need your help. Along with Prof. Steven Drizin of the Center On Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University School Of Law, we wanted to let you know that we have made a major breakthrough on our latest effort to overturn a miscarriage of justice and history from the Civil Rights Era.
Our website is http://www.clydekennard.org " Full message here; they just want you to email the Governor of Mississippi to support the pardon. The Mississippi Supreme Court recently denied collateral relief on the ground that Kennard died in 1963.
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