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Never Too Late : A Prosecutor's Story of Justice in the Medgar Evars Case
by Bobby DeLaughter
Book Description: In June 12, 1963, Mississippi's fast-rising NAACP leader Medgar Evers was gunned down by a white supremacist named Byron De La Beckwith. Beckwith escaped conviction twice at the hands of all-white Southern juries, and his crime went unpunished for more than three decades. Now, from Bobby DeLaughter, one of the most celebrated prosecutors in modern American law, comes the blistering account of his remarkable crusade in 1994 finally to bring the assassin of Medgar Evers to justice.
This is the fascinating, real-life story of the assistant district attorney -- played by Alec Baldwin in Rob Reiner's Ghosts of Mississippi -- who brought closure to one of the darkest chapters of the civil rights movement.
When the district attorney's office in Jackson, Mississippi, decided to reopen the case, the obstacles in its way were overwhelming: missing court records; transcripts that were more than thirty years old; original evidence that had been lost; new testimony that had to be taken regarding long-ago events; and the perception throughout the state that a reprosecution was a futile endeavor. But step by painstaking step, DeLaughter and his team overcame the obstacles and built their case.
With taut prose that reads like a great detective thriller, Never Too Late is a page-turner of the very highest order. It charts the course of a country lawyer who, concerned about the collective soul of his community and the nature of American justice in general, dared to revisit a thirty-one-year-old case -- one so incendiary that everyone warned him not to touch it -- and win a long-overdue conviction. DeLaughter's success in this trial stands today as a landmark in the annals of criminal prosecution, and this bracing first-person account brings the saga to life as never before.
Hardcover from Scribner
For Us, the Living
by Myrlie Evers, William Peters, Willis Morris
Paperback from Univ Pr of Mississippi
by Jennie Brown, Jeanne Brown
Mass Market Paperback from Holloway House Pub Co
Ghosts of Medgar Evers, The : A Tale of Race, Murder, Mississippi, and Hollywood
by Willie Morris
"To me there is no more haunted, complex terrain in America than the countryside between Port Gibson, Mississippi, and the river. The land is full of ghosts. . . . Medgar Evers returned here from infantry combat in France after World War II to attend Alcorn State University. Here he met and courted his future wife, Myrlie. And it is because of him and of her that I am making this journey on this day to the Windsor Ruins a few miles north of the Alcorn campus. Just out of Port Gibson, a sign on the side of the road said: WINDSOR RUINS CLOSED TODAY. Hollywood had taken them over."
Thus, Willie Morris begins an intensely personal journey--both dramatic and emotional--involving racism, murder, history, and Hollywood.
For years Morris has portrayed American life through lyrical evocations of his own experience. Now he brings together the harsh realities of race and the magical illusions of Hollywood in an unusual book about the making of the movie Ghosts of Mississippi and its more complicated historical background: the 1963 assassination of the courageous civil rights activist Medgar Evers and the conviction thirty years later of his killer, Byron De La Beckwith, in one of the most striking cases in the annals of American jurisprudence.
The Ghosts of Medgar Evers is not only a dramatic account of the making of a major motion picture about one of the most heinous crimes of this century; it is also an examination of the murder itself and the people involved that explains why it took so long for justice to prevail.
Morris was on hand both for the trial and for the making of the movie. As the filming progressed, layer after layer of ironies, of personal and public deja vus, unfolded. With director Rob Reiner and producer Fred Zollo, Morris traveled the Mississippi back roads known to him since boyhood, surveying the story's real locales. He was present when the assassination was reenacted at the actual murder scene, and on the Hollywood soundstages when the trial was filmed--recreations that involved a number of participants in the original events, including three of Evers's children, who witnessed his death in 1963. His sons Darrell and Van Evers portrayed themselves as adults in the movie, and his daughter, Reena, played a juror in the 1994 trial. The filming, Morris reports, was often emotionally wrenching, particularly for the family members: When Alec Baldwin, as assistant district attorney Bobby DeLaughter, made his final summary to the jury, Reena wept openly.
The South today and the unadorned politics of race are juxtaposed and intermingled with the politics and mechanics of moviemaking.
The Ghosts of Medgar Evers is Willie Morris at his best.
Hardcover: 288 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.75 x 9.50 x 6.50
Publisher: Random House; (January 27, )
Out of Print - Try Used Books
The Assassination of Medgar Evers
Of Long Memory: Mississippi and the Murder of Medgar Evers
by Adam Nossiter
In the tradition of Parting the Waters: A remarkable examination of the transformation of race relations in the South, as seen through the trial of Medgar Evers's murderer.
The history is well known: On June 12, 1963, Mississippi's courageous NAACP chief, Medgar Evers, was gunned down by white supremacist Byron de la Beckwith. Tried twice by all-white juries, Beckwith escaped conviction for three decades. But then Mississippi began to confront its tormented past. And in the 1990's, when Beckwith was sent to jail by a crusading young prosecutor, the family of Medgar Evers finally got justice.
Hailed as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the Lillian Smith Award, Of Long Memory reveals how this remarkable reversal took place. Nossiter uses the tools of memory, history, and reportage--and the clear vantage point of an outsider, a Northerner--to portray an entire state quite literally summoning up its ghosts. A new epilogue discusses other civil rights cases now being reconsidered, and skillfully shows how the South is finding a way to create justice where none had existed before.
Paperback from DaCapo Press
by Myra Ribeiro
Library Binding from Rosen Publishing Group
Portrait of a Racist: The Man Who Killed Medgar Evers?
by Reed Massengill
Beckwith's nephew had his uncle's history, beginning with his service in battle during World War II continuing through his activism in groups such as the the white-supremacist Citizens' Council and later the Ku Klux Klan
Hardcover from St. Martin's Press
Out of Print - Try Used Books
The Ghost of Medgar Evers
by Willie Morris
Hardcover from Random House Value Pub
Out of Print - Try Used Books
Medgar Evers (African-American Biographies)
by Genevieve St. Lawrence, Genevieve St Lawrence
Library Binding from Raintree/Steck Vaughn
Ghosts of Mississippi: The Murder of Medgar Evers, the Trials of Byron De LA Beckwith, and the Haunting of the New South
by Maryanne Vollers
Hardcover from Little Brown & Company
Ghosts of Mississippi 1996 VHS
VHS Tape from Castle Rock
starring Alec Baldwin, James Woods, Whoopi Goldberg
Description: A determined widow. A courageous D.A. They found a way to do what two trials and 25 futile years of effort couldn't do-convict the murderer of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg and James Woods star in a powerful tale of courage and commitment.
directed by Rob Reiner
Published: 08 January, 2002
The Exhumation of Megar Evers
A poignant moment in the attorney's presentation came when he showed a slide of the exhumed body of Medgar Evers, perfectly composed after being buried more than 25 years at Arlington National Cemetery. Several members of the audience shed tears, as the speaker seemed to choke back his own emotions.
"Several years ago, I was watching a documentary concerning the death of Medgar Evers, a black civil rights worker who was shot to death in his own driveway in Mississippi in 1963. In the early 90's, at the request of his son, the body of Mr Evers was exhumed. It was the hope of the family that a new autopsy might shed more light into his death. I watched as they opened that casket that had been sealed for 30 years. Inside was a body that was remarkably preserved. The body and the clothes it wore were in excellent condition." From The Sermon Notebook
"When we exhume bodies," says Baden, "we often find skeletal remains. In some cases where we expect that, we're surprised, such as the case of Medgar Evers [a civil rights leader murdered in 1963]. After thirty years, his body was still intact." More than intact, when the coffin was opened, the corpse looked as fresh as the day it was buried. From Crimelibrary.com
Reiner, who had obtained footage of newsreels, and private films of marches and protests of the era, now incredibly received permission from the Evers family to film when the remains were exhumed. To the amazement of all present, the body had barely begun to decompose. The coroner noted that Evers looked as if he had been buried only a few days rather than thirty years.
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