University of Southern Mississippi on Clyde Kennard Exoneration (with photos): David Tisdale
The University of Southern Mississippi's David Tisdale, a Senior Writer in the Communications Department, reported from Clyde Kennard's exoneration hearing on May 16, 2006. Photos of Judges Pickering and Helfrich are included.
Hattiesburg—Half a century after he tried to become the first African-American student at the University of Southern Mississippi, then known as Mississippi Southern College (MSC), the late Clyde Kennard was cleared Wednesday of a burglary charge many believe was trumped up to prevent him from enrolling at the school.
Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Robert Helfrich exonerated Kennard following a brief hearing in the same court where the original charge against him was brought. Ironically, the ruling followed a petition drive, calling for him to be cleared of the charge, which was organized by students at the same school that denied him entry.