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Old January 10th, 2017, 12:52 PM   #1
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The real story behind Jeff Sessions prosecuting the KKK

Thirty-five years ago, the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Alabama played a crucial role in ensuring that the lynching of 19-year-old Michael Donald by two members of the Ku Klux Klan was investigated and punished.

That gruesome case has become newly relevant with the nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to run the Department of Justice. Sessions was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District when the Donald case was tried.

In 1986, Session’s nomination for a federal judgeship was rejected after one of his former subordinates, Thomas Figures, alleged that Sessions called him “boy,” made remarks disparaging civil-rights organizations, and made jokes about the KKK, even as his office was investigating the Donald lynching. Civil-rights groups have harshly criticized Sessions’s nomination, arguing that he is hostile to federal anti-discrimination and voting-rights law. Six members of the NAACP, including president Cornell Brooks,*were arrested in early January*after staging a sit-in at Sessions’s Mobile office.

After Sessions’s nomination was announced, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus whether Sessions’s record suggested he would be hostile to reforming local police agencies accused of racial bias. “Look at this man's life,” Priebus replied, citing the Donald case. “He prosecuted that person … for the murder. He then presided over the execution of this person.”

Other defenders of Sessions have used the Donald case in similar ways. A*letter*from 23 former assistant attorney generals cited the fact that he had “worked to obtain the successful capital prosecution of the head of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan” as evidence of his “commitment to the rule of law, and to the even-handed administration of justice.”*The Wall Street Journal*said that Sessions, “won a death-penalty conviction for the head of the state KKK in a capital murder trial,” a case which “broke the Klan in the heart of dixie,” and*The New York Post*praised him for having “successfully prosecuted the head of the state Ku Klux Klan for murder.” Grant Bosse wrote in the Manchester, New Hampshire,*Union Leader*wrote that “when local police wrote off the murder as a drug deal gone wrong, Sessions brought in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, and brought Hays and the Klan to justice.”

Sessions himself recently listed the case as one of the “ten most significant significant litigated matters” he had “personally handled” on his Senate confirmationquestionnaire. And in 2009, Sessions*toldNational Review*that there had been a campaign to “smear my record,” whereas in fact, he had “prosecuted the head of the Klan for murdering somebody.”

No one involved in the case disputes that Sessions lent his support to the prosecution. “Not all southern United States attorneys welcomed civil-rights division attorneys into their districts back then,” said Barry Kowalski, a former civil-rights division attorney who was one of the main lawyers on the investigation, and who defended Sessions in his 1986 confirmation hearing. “He did, he cooperated with us completely.”

However, in seeking to defend Sessions from charges of racism, Sessions’s allies, and even Sessions himself, seem to have embellished key details, and to have inflated his actual role in the case, presenting him not merely as a cooperative U.S. attorney who facilitated the prosecution of the two Klansmen, but the driving force behind the prosecution itself. The details of the case don’t support that claim.


Texas Senator Ted Cruz said during the confirmation hearing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he prosecute a couple of racist members from the Ku Klux Klan. What is the real story behind this case? It was back in 1981 that a person named Michael Donald was killed to death. In his estate, the Michael Family help Sessions sue the Klan organization and then won.

The Wall Street Journal praises that Sessions "won a death-penalty conviction for the head of the state KKK in a capital murder trial." That case in the 1980s "broke the Klan in the heart of dixie."


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Last edited by tolumba21; January 10th, 2017 at 03:18 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 04:34 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by tolumba21 View Post
... It was back in 1981 that a person named Michael Donald was killed to death. ...
Not surprising. Most killings end in death.
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