No New Probe
THE UNITED States Justice Department has opted not to reopen the 1970 Kent State shooting investigation. Four-plus decades have come and gone so we agree with that decision.
The Justice Department based its decision on “insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers” in regard to the fatal shooting by the Ohio National Guardsmen during a Vietnam War protest at the university.
That tragedy played out 42 years ago May 4, taking four Kent State students and wounding nine more. It is one of the biggest blackmarks in Ohio annals. The deadly event changed the nation’s attitude toward the war, hastening out exodus.
The recent request to reopen the probe came from one of those wounded victims. He based his plea on an enhanced audio recording that orders may have been given for the Guardsmen to prepare to fire on students during the protest.
In 1974, eight guardsmen tried on federal civil rights charges were acquitted by a judge.
Some believe those enhanced audio recordings provide evidence that the Guardsmen were given instruction just seconds prior to the firings commenced. That remains debatable, especially after so much time has elapsed.
Time is a great healer.
Family members and loved ones of the Kent State victims have had 42 years years to come to grips with a most sad and unfortunate occurrence. The pain will never cease but it does lessen.
A new investigation will only open old wounds. We see no reason to revisit the tragedy, evoking more heartache.