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Four years after the crime, two men get life sentences for Chauncey Bailey's murder

(RSF/IFEX) - A court in Oakland, California, has sentenced two men to life imprisonment without parole for the August 2007 murder of "Oakland Post" editor Chauncey Bailey, but it took much too long to render justice in the case, says Reporters Without Borders.

The sentences were passed on 26 August 2011 against Yusuf Bey IV, the former head of the Oakland-based Your Black Muslim Bakery, and an associate, Antoine Mackey, after a jury previously convicted Bey of ordering a third man to carry out the murder and Mackey of acting as his accomplice.

As the journalists of the Chauncey Bailey Project ( http://www.chaunceybaileyproject.org ) reported, the testimony of the third man, Devaughndre Broussard, was decisive in the case against Bey and Mackey. Broussard received a 25-year sentence as part of a plea bargain.

"He was a journalist in his heart," the Chauncey Bailey Project quoted Bailey's former wife, Robin Hardin-Bailey, as saying. Addressing Bey and Mackey, she said: "I forgive you because the Chauncey Bailey I know, the Chauncey Bailey who came here to right the wrongs, to tell the story of people who had no voice, I believe that he would forgive you, too."

Bey, who was also convicted of two other murders, insisted in a statement that he was innocent and claimed that the case against him was political. Mackey did not comment on the sentence.

Bailey was gunned down on an Oakland street on 2 August 2007 while investigating irregularities in Bey's Your Black Muslim Bakery network. Broussard, who confessed to shooting Bailey, testified that Mackey got him to do it at Bey's request.

"It took a bit more than four years for the truth about this murder to be established in court, an unreasonable period of time given that the US constitution stipulates that justice must be served within a reasonable time frame," Reporters Without Borders said. "Bailey paid with his life for doing his job as a journalist. We pay tribute to his memory, and to the dignity of his relatives.

"This verdict will unfortunately not erase the many attempts to obstruct justice that occurred throughout this case, including obstruction by the Oakland Police Department at the start of the investigation. In this regard, justice has not yet been rendered."

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