What do you think? Is that a fair sentence?James Bonard Fowler's plea deal allows the 77-year-old white man to serve his six-month sentence near his home in Geneva County, rather than in predominantly black Perry County, where his victim is memorialized as a martyr of the civil rights movement.
"They'd have killed me," Fowler said, referring to what he thinks would have happened in the Perry County jail.
But being in the Geneva County Jail doesn't ease his mind.
"I don't feel safe here either. There are more blacks in the jail than whites," he said in an interview Monday.
Fowler is going to jail for fatally shooting Jimmie Lee Jackson on Feb. 18, 1965, after a voting rights march in Marion erupted in violence. Witnesses said Jackson, 26, was trying to protect his grandfather and mother from being clubbed by state troopers. But Fowler maintained Jackson hit him on the head with a bottle and he fired to protect himself.
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