Neshoba Murder Followup

The site, Philadelphia United Methodist Church. The time, Tuesday night. Inside were members of the newly formed Philadelphia Coalition, the state attorney general and the featured guests, the mother and brother of one of the three civil rights workers killed in the June 1964 murders in Neshoba County, Dr. Carolyn Goodman and David Goodman.

Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner were shot to death and later buried in an earthen dam, after working to register blacks to vote in Neshoba County.

Although seven members of the Ku Klux Klan were convicted on federal civil rights violations in the case, state murder charges were never brought against anyone. This is something members of the coalition and the Goodman family want changed.

"I want to see the men who committed the murders brought to trial," said Dr. Carolyn Goodman. "They have not been brought to trial on that."

"If you say it happened 40 years ago, that's sort of worse. That it's taken this long to have justice done. This long to go through the process that is the American way," said David Goodman.

"The only way to a resolution is justice and that's what we're after," said Philadelphia Coalition co-chair Jim Prince.

During the meeting, Attorney General Jim Hood told the group it's possible that their longtime dream could soon become a reality.

"I've personally been interviewing witnesses myself," said Hood. "I would like to say, within the next month or so, we should reach a decision as to what to do with the case. Present it to a grand jury and then it's up to them to decide if it's an indictment."

From there, Hood says the process could take several months. Meanwhile, he and coalition members are making a plea to the public.

"There are a lot of people in the community that know something about this case and we would really like it if they would step up now. Call the attorney general and let him know what they know," said Philadelphia Coalition co-chair Leroy Clemons.

"This young man was murdered," said Goodman's mother. "That's what should be considered here."


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