Killen gets 60 years for civil rights killings

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Judge Marcus Gordon passed sentence on 80 year old Edgar Ray Killen who was convicted Tuesday of three counts of manslaughter in the slaying of three civil rights workers in 1964. The judge sentenced Killen to the maximum 20 years for each count -- a total of 60 years.

Judge Gordon noted some people "would say a sentence of 10 years would be a life sentence" for Killen. The minimum time Killen could serve is one-third, or 20 years.

The conviction came 41 years to the day after James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were murdered. They had been registering minority votes in Mississippi during the "Freedom Summer" of 1964.

Killen's attorneys say they will appeal the verdict.

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