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Justice and racism considered by Ashland panel after verdict in Aidan Ellison killing

An Ashland criminal case that started with controversy reached its final disposition with controversy as well. Aidan Ellison, a young Black man, died at the end of a gun fired by Robert Keegan, an older white man. Keegan never disputed the shooting, but claimed self-defense. And a Jackson County jury found him not guilty of 2nd degree murder, but guilty of manslaughter, a lesser charge with a lesser sentence.

Demonstrations followed.

We assembled a panel from Ashland to respond to the closing of the case and the opening of a pathway to the future, and what that might look like. Our panelists: Gina Duquenne, an Ashland City Councilor speaking for herself, not the council. Emily Simon, co-chair of the Social Equity and Racial Justice Advisory Committee in Ashland--but also speaking for herself--is another guest. And we bring in Isadora Millay and Simone Starbird from the Truth to Power Club at Ashland High School, which researches and reacts to this and other issues.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.