Justice can be bittersweet

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 28, 2002

Sometimes, justice can be bittersweet.

A jury closed the book on the Sixteenth Street Church bombing case Wednesday by convicting former Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry of murder in the deadly case.

The conviction came almost 40 years after the church bombing that killed four black girls and became the deadliest crime in the Civil Rights Era. Justice came, but it came neither swiftly nor easily in this case.

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Cherry fought and eluded conviction for more than three decades, flaunting his freedom and the failure of our state’s justice system.

We might hope, even pray, that this conviction brings some sort of closure to the case.

Certainly, the hypocrisy of a system that allowed Cherry to walk free for more than 30 years has been addressed. Perhaps, this conviction and the two others in the case which came earlier, will right those painful and prejudiced wrongs of many years ago.

Hopefully, the conviction will heal some wounds – wounds of injustice and indignity – that will allow our state and our society to move forward.

Yes, justice came and the resolution is bittersweet. But it is most important to recognize that justice did come and we can move forward from today.