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The Nation

The Atlanta federal court jury deliberating a $1.5-million damage suit against the Ku Klux Klan returned a verdict, but it was sealed when the chief plaintiff suddenly professed pangs of conscience. Hosea Williams, an Atlanta city councilor and longtime civil rights activist, said he wanted to drop the lawsuit that he and others who participated in a 1987 march in Forsyth County filed against klan leaders. State Rep. Billy McKinney, who joined the lawsuit in July, objected to Williams’ attempt to halt the trial. In a rambling explanation to U.S. District Judge Charles A. Moye Jr., Williams said he has been losing sleep over blue-collar defendants “who have nothing but their homes, their cars and their paychecks. . . . I could not disrupt their families.” Moye ordered the verdict sealed and dismissed the six jury members with orders not to discuss it.


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