A former Alabama politician, whose daughter was among four killed when the Ku Klux Klan bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963, was ordered to be released from a prison medical facility on Thursday on compassionate grounds.
Chris McNair became one of the Alabama Legislature’s first black members since Reconstruction, but in 2006 was among 21 people convicted of corruption linked to a $3 billion sewer project in Jefferson County. He later pleaded guilty to soliciting $140,000 in bribes.
U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith decided to release the 87-year-old in line with a plea from the Obama administration. Smith said McNair could leave the federal prison medical center in Rochester, Minn., as soon as his health allowed and travel arrangements could be made.