"THE 1980 LYNCHING OF MICHAEL DONALD"
The lynching of Michael Donald in Mobile, Alabama, on March 21, 1981, was one of the last reported lynchings in the United States.
Several Ku Klux Klan (KKK) members beat and killed Michael Donald, a 19-year-old African-American, and hung his body from a tree. One perpetrator, Henry Hays, was executed by electric chair in 1997, while another, James Knowles, was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty and testifying against Hays. A third man was convicted as an accomplice and also sentenced to life in prison, and a fourth was indicted but died before his trial could be completed.
Hays' execution was the first in Alabama since 1913 for a white-on-black crime. It was the only execution of a KKK member during the 20th century for the murder of an African American.
Donald's mother, Beulah Mae Donald, brought a civil suit for wrongful death against the United Klans of America (UKA), to which the attackers belonged. In 1987 a jury awarded her damages of $7 million, which bankrupted the organization. This set a precedent for civil legal action for damages against other racist hate groups.