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Kent State Victims Demand New Inquiry

They think the National Guard was ordered to fire exactly 42 years ago
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2012 7:05 AM CDT
Kent State Victims Demand New Inquiry
In a May 4, 1970 file photo, Ohio National Guard moves in on rioting students at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – It's been precisely 42 years since National Guard members opened fire indiscriminately on protesters at Kent State University, but the survivors of the shooting are still looking for answers. A group of seven wounded in the incident said yesterday they were beginning a campaign to convince lawmakers to hold hearings examining new evidence—in particular a re-analysis of a recording that they believe proves the Guardsmen were ordered to fire, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. They termed the effort their "final campaign for truth and justice."

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The Plain Dealer had audio forensics experts review the tape, and they say it contains four .38-caliber pistol shots followed by the order. But the FBI disagreed, saying the voices were unintelligible and the shots could have actually been the sounds of doors shutting, and the Justice Department last month refused to reopen the case, saying there were "insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers." The victims say they're not out to prosecute individual Guardsmen—and indeed believe they should join their cause. "In a way, they've been victimized just as we have," says one victim. (Read more Kent State stories.)

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