When the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army signed a peace accord and power-sharing arrangement on New Year’s Eve at Lake Naivasha, Kenya, South African President Thabo Mbeki, who witnessed the signing, declared, “Africa begins the year 2005 on a very good footing.”
“Let’s party!” the South African head of state added, according to the New York Times. A peace ceremony sealing the final accords was to be held on January 9 in Nairobi.
But Mbeki’s call for celebration at the end of the decades-old conflict in southern Sudan, a conflict that has pitted the Muslim-dominated government in Khartoum against the largely Christian and animist people of the south, could be premature.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).