Fort Wayne, Ind. — A federal court jury acquitted an avowed racist of charges stemming from the 1980 shooting of civil-rights activist Vernon E. Jordan Jr.
The decision came after more than eight hours of deliberation by the all-white jury. Joseph Paul Franklin had been charged under federal law with violating the civil rights of Mr. Jordan by shooting him. US District Judge Allen Sharp told the jury, ''Your decision, while a controversial one within a controversial case, is well within the law and well within the evidence.''