1964 Civil Rights Slayings Revisited

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Lead prosecutors in a decades old Alabama church bombing case are urging Mississippi officials to seek federal assistance to pursue a case in the 1964 killings of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney.

Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Cochran says Mississippi authorities appear to already have at least as much as Alabama authorities had when a grand jury in 2000 indicted Thomas Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry in the church bombing that killed four girls in Birmingham.

The bombing took place in 1963. Juries convicted Blanton and Cherry in 2002.

In 1964, the FBI investigated the Mississippi slayings resulting in federal prosecution that led to seven convictions, eight acquittals and three mistrials on federal conspiracy charges, but the state of Mississippi never charged anyone in the June 21, 1964 slayings.

A spokesman for Attorney Gen. Jim Hood says Hood welcomes any assistance that law enforcement agencies can provide to him.


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