The Press: Getting to the Core

When Convict George Jackson was shot dead in the San Quentin prison yard last month (TIME, Sept. 6), his distraught mother charged that the escape attempt was actually "set up" and amounted to murder by prison authorities. Her accusation was dismissed out of hand by most, but it prompted an emotional piece by Tom Wicker, Washington-based columnist for the New York Times. "Many others," Wicker wrote, "mostly black perhaps, but not a few of them white, will not find it hard to agree with his mother."

Wicker praised Jackson as "a talented writer, a sensitive man, a potential leader and political thinker...

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