Americana: Prisoner of Conscience

When he was called last month to testify before a Cincinnati grand jury investigating a prison escape, the Rev. Maurice McCrackin refused to appear. He was a key witness because he had been kidnaped and held hostage by two convicts who had broken out of the Lucasville, Ohio, penitentiary.

McCrackin did more than refuse to show. To protest conditions in the prison, he ignored a subpoena, made a squad of five policemen carry him physically to jail, and began a hunger strike that lasted three weeks and forced his transfer to a hospital for intravenous feeding.

The minister's resistance has produced one of...

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