(To put Francis' claims in perspective, even Wikipedia's account of the bombing notes that claims it was actually committed by FBI agent provocateur Gary Thomas Rowe Jr. "may have held a degree of truth.")Sam Francis thought Jones' prosecution of Blanton was a political vendetta, not justice, and he was frankly skeptical of the viability of integration. Five decades after the Civil Rights Act, and twelve years after Francis' own death, the continuing implosion of Birmingham, like that of Baltimore, Ferguson, Selma, and even the end of Atlanta's Great Tree Christmas celebration, suggests that "The American Dilemma" is still not solved.
Is Thomas Blanton, convicted last week of first-degree murder in the infamous Birmingham church bombing of 1963, really guilty? Who knows? So politicized have trials involving racial issues become in this country—the murder trial of O.J. Simpson is the archetype—that jury verdicts mean almost nothing today. In the Blanton case, even the chief prosecutor, U.S. attorney Doug Jones, admitted that “this was not an overwhelming case.”
Tried 37 years after the crime, before a jury that contained not a single white male and from which the prosecutors carefully excluded as many whites as possible, Blanton was never once connected to the actual crime. Usually in murder trials the prosecutors try to show such a connection—two or more witnesses, fingerprints, DNA, a confession, something that, beyond a reasonable doubt, will convince the jurors that the defendant is guilty. In the Blanton trial there was none of the above.
That Birmingham Trial and the Second Reconstruction: Power, not Justice, May 8, 2001. Emphasis added.