The South: Turn in a Dark Road

It had become axiomatic that Southern white men do not convict other Southern white men for racist murders. To fanatic white supremacists, the growing list of acquittals and mistrials signaled open season; they went on the hunt with bullets and dynamite. In at least 34 killings since 1960, only one such murderer was punished. Last week in Alabama, all-white juries convicted four white defendants in two notorious cases in which a stranger in a car had been killed on a dark, lonely road.

The more surprising of the verdicts—and the more hopeful for the survival of the local jury system—came...

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