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Vol. 76/No. 15      April 16, 2012

Man sentenced to life for lynching
Black auto worker in Mississippi
Deryl Dedmon pleaded guilty to murder in Mississippi state court March 21 for the lynching of James Anderson, a 47-year-old Black autoworker. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Dedmon, who is Caucasian, was 19 years old when he and six other youths drove into Jackson, Miss., from a neighboring county to assault African-Americans. They spotted Anderson standing in a motel’s parking lot in the early morning last June 26. While yelling racist epithets and slogans, including “white power,” they severely beat Anderson. Dedmon then ran Anderson over with his pickup truck, leaving him to die.

The killing was filmed by a hotel surveillance camera and widely distributed. Jackson residents organized protests condemning the slowness by the local police and prosecutors in arresting the seven youths involved in the assault, reported the New York Times.

Under state guidelines Dedmon could have faced the death penalty, but Anderson’s family urged state and federal prosecutors not to impose this because of their moral and religious opposition to capital punishment.

Appearing in federal court March 22, Dedmon’s accomplices, John Rice, 19, and Dylan Butler, 20, admitted to carrying out other attacks on African-Americans in the weeks leading up to Anderson’s death. They targeted people they thought were drunk or homeless.

Anderson’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against all those involved in the assault. The family is also seeking a civil trial to make more facts about the case known, reported the Times.
Related articles:
Protests demand arrest Trayvon Martin’s killer!
6 weeks after lynching, vigilante still free
Jail vigilante who killed Trayvon Martin!  
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