Ward Churchill Jury: University of Colorado wrongly fired prof

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A jury ruled Thursday that the University of Colorado wrongly fired the professor who compared some Sept. 11 victims to a Nazi, a verdict that gives the professor $1 and a chance to get his job back.

Then-Gov. Bill Owens was among the officials who had called on the university to fire Ward Churchill after his essay touched off a national firestorm, but the tenured professor of ethnic studies was ultimately terminated on charges of research misconduct.

Churchill said claims including plagiarism were just a cover and that he never would have been fired if it weren't for the essay in which he called World Trade Center victims "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi leader who orchestrated the Holocaust. Jurors agreed.

When the verdict was read, Churchill hugged his attorney, David Lane, and his wife, Natsu Saito.
"I can't tell you how significant this is," Lane said. "There are few defining moments that give the First Amendment this kind of light."

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