JACKSON, Miss.- Attorney General Jim Hood held a press conference in Jackson on Monday to release a final statement the day before the 52nd anniversary of the Mississippi Burning case.
The investigation involved the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964 that were helping people register to vote in Neshoba County.
James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner disappeared on June 21, 1964. It took 44 days to find their bodies.
“Our state and entire nation are a much better place because of the work of those three young men and others in 1964 who only wanted to ensure that the rights and freedoms promised in our Constitution were afforded to every single one of us in Mississippi,” Hood said.
Only one man plead guilty to the charges in ’67, but seven others were also tried and convicted of several civil rights violations in connection to the murders.
It wasn’t until 2005 that the a manslaughter conviction was sought for Edgar Ray Killen in Neshoba County. He was tried and convicted and is now serving a 60-year prison sentence.
While the case was officially closed after the conviction in 2005, AG Hood found it appropriate to speak before the 52nd anniversary of the original trial, much like closing a chapter in Mississippi’s history.