Appeal Denied

The words fell flat in the small room where we clustered.
Moments before we'd conferred on the faces and feelings we'd gotten from the six person panel that heard our testimony. The panel, like a jury, does their best at putting on a poker face.
There are some surprises in Southern justice. That the stern chairwoman of Caucasian descent reportedly voted in favor of pardon, ran against all expectations. But Nealy needed 5 votes out of the 6 seated at the table. It mattered little in the end, because the result was no better than a jury of 12 white men a hundred years ago.
We entered the proceedings, an odd lot. A middle aged white author, wearing a suit he'd hoped he'd retired, a black senator and reverend full of kindness and grace, a tall and elegant Southern lawyer who seemed to channel the dedication to cause of Brice Matthews, a black woman 4 generations removed from the man who administered to Nealy and who buried him.. and Bailey, a 10 year old black girl who came with her mother to testify of a legacy of innocence, to see if Justice had changed in a century.
For Nealy, I believe he knows we tried and will try again.
For young Bailey, how do you explain?

Hal Hinson contributed to this posting. He said the story was a disappointing bit of deja vu and retired to the bar. I believe I'll join him.

For the straight facts Meg Kinnard of the AP did a nice job.