Rhodesia: A Little Mercy

Having defied Britain and shown its independence by executing five blacks in spite of a royal reprieve, the breakaway government of Prime Minister Ian Smith decided last week that a little mercy was in order. It commuted the death sentences of 44 blacks awaiting execution, including four who were within 40 minutes of hanging, to varying terms of imprisonment. Still awaiting word about their fate are 69 others held in the death row of Salisbury's maximum-security prison. Their number swelled at week's end with the sentencing to death of five Africans convicted of entering Rhodesia with "weapons of war"—a...