Edgar Ray Killen,
segregationist, was found guilty of manslaughter in June by a Mississippi jury in the 1964 murder of three young civil rights workers. The three victims had been working to register black voters in Mississippi during Freedom Summer and had gone to investigate the burning of a black church. They were arrested by the police on trumped-up charges, imprisoned for several hours, and then released after dark into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan, who beat and murdered them. It was later proven in court that a conspiracy existed between members of Neshoba County's law enforcement and the Ku Klux Klan to kill them. The jury reached its verdict on the 21st anniversary of the murders. Killen, 80, was sentenced to 60 years in jail.