Solving Unsolved Civil Rights Cases...A Waste of Time? : News & Views How much time, energy and money should we invest on unsolved civil rights cases?
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Solving Unsolved Civil Rights Cases...A Waste of Time?

How much time, energy and money should we invest on unsolved civil rights cases?

It's an interesting question that some of you have raised whether to focus resources on "historic" unsolved murder cases or concentrate on the violent crimes that go unsolved in our current daily lives. I would guess it's even more painful for anyone who has suffered a recent loss that hasn't been investigated as thoroughly as it might be.

But there are crimes and then there are crimes. The crimes of the civil rights era that remain unsolved a half-century or longer after the fact carry additional political weight. That's because they are perhaps seen as symbols of a struggle for freedom and equality that I think are still very deeply felt by the people who lived during that time, including the relatives of the victims whose pain has lasted a lifetime.

I don't have the answer. But I remember very well how I felt a few years ago as I sat in a courtroom in Alabama. I watched as a guilty verdict was returned against one of the men responsible for the bombing of the Birmingham church where 4 little girls were killed four decades before. I felt justice had finally been served. And that was a good feeling.