The Latest: Paroled denied for Birmingham church bomber

AP News
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Posted: Aug 03, 2016 11:23 AM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Latest on the parole hearing of a one-time Ku Klux Klansman convicted in the Birmingham church bombing. (all times local):

9:05 a.m.

Alabama's parole board has decided against freeing a one-time Ku Klux Klansman convicted in a church bombing that killed four black girls more than 50 years ago.

The Wednesday decision to keep 78-year-old Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr. imprisoned was met with applause at the hearing.

At the hearing, relatives of the girls spoke against Blanton's release.

Blanton is the last surviving KKK member convicted of murder in the bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2001 for being part of a group of Klansmen who planted a bomb outside the church during the civil rights movement.

Two other former KKK members were convicted of murder and died behind bars.

Blanton can be considered for parole again in five years.

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2:45 a.m.

Alabama's parole board is deciding whether to free a one-time Ku Klux Klansman convicted in a church bombing that killed four black girls more than 50 years ago.

Board members have scheduled a Wednesday hearing for Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr.

The 78-year-old Blanton is the last surviving KKK member convicted of murder in the bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963.

Opponents are speaking out against Blanton's possible release after just 15 years in prison. The inmate won't be in attendance during the hearing.

Blanton was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2001 for being part of a group of Klansmen who planted a bomb outside the church during the civil rights movement.

Two other former KKK members were convicted of murder and died behind bars.

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This story has been corrected to say Blanton is 78, not 76.