ClaireRandall, 91, a Presbyterian who in 1974 was the first woman elected as general secretary of the National Council of Churches, died September 9 in Sun City, Arizona. Near the end of her 10-year leadership in the post the NCC and the World Council of Churches were the subject of allegations on a 1983 CBS 60 Minutes program implying that the two councils were leftist organizations that ignored the wishes of their conservative constituencies. The accusations by conservative religious critics resurfaced in 1984 in a Reader’s Digest article. Randall firmly disputed the charges. She was partially vindicated, said a NCC spokesperson, when retiring 60 Minutes producer Don Hewitt called that program’s report the one show he regretted in his 36-year career. Looking back on those “turbulent” years, NCC president Michael E.
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).