Bobby DeLaughter, a Mississippi civil rights icon who reopened old cases from the 1960s, is going to prison. DeLaughter is famous for securing the conviction of Byron De La Beckwith in the murder of Medgar Evers.
You might remember him as Alec Baldwin’s character in Ghosts of Mississippi back in the 1990s. Hollywood lionized this guy. DeLaughter went on to become a Mississippi state judge and recently pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for lying to the FBI in a corruption probe. Corrupt asbestos and tobacco interests funnelled millions of dollars through close associates to influence his decisions.
DeLaughter’s flame out reminds me of James Bevel, MLK’s right hand man, who died in 2008 from pancreatic cancer. Bevel was convicted of molesting his granddaughter and went to prison for several months.
I wrote about it at the time. A lot of famous civil rights figures have ended their lives in similar disgrace. A book should be written about the subject.