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Never Too Late: A Prosecutor's Story of Justice in the Medgar Evars Case

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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 b 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 criminalprosecution, and this bracing first-person account brings the saga to life as never before.


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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 b 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 criminalprosecution, and this bracing first-person account brings the saga to life as never before.

30 review for Never Too Late: A Prosecutor's Story of Justice in the Medgar Evars Case

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I never really had the opportunity to learn about a lot of the things that occurred in my home state in the 60's. I have take. It upon myself to learn as much as I can. While I know many take the stance of it was the past, let's not bring it back up. However, I, for one, would hope that if I was murdered, nobody would rest until justice was served. Some think the trial was a black eye for the state. I happen to think just the opposite. It showed we were able to put the past aside and bring a mur I never really had the opportunity to learn about a lot of the things that occurred in my home state in the 60's. I have take. It upon myself to learn as much as I can. While I know many take the stance of it was the past, let's not bring it back up. However, I, for one, would hope that if I was murdered, nobody would rest until justice was served. Some think the trial was a black eye for the state. I happen to think just the opposite. It showed we were able to put the past aside and bring a murderer to justice. Period. I also learned a lot about the man, Medgar Evers. I can only imagine what great things he would gone on to do. I just can't imagine what the family endured especially the thirty years Mr. Evers murderer went free. As for the book, there were parts I felt the author drew out when he didn't need to and he also came across pretty arrogant. The Epilogue in the book was extremely annoying the first couple of paragraphs. Overall though it was a good, accurate read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    Great account of what this DA went through, is still going through in the case of a white supremicist (who killed Medgar Evars, a civil rights leader).... it's all the most interesting that Bobby DeLaughter (the DA / author) is now in prison himself.... bribery charge. Gotta enjoy THAT fact! Great account of what this DA went through, is still going through in the case of a white supremicist (who killed Medgar Evars, a civil rights leader).... it's all the most interesting that Bobby DeLaughter (the DA / author) is now in prison himself.... bribery charge. Gotta enjoy THAT fact!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kandi

    I really enjoyed this book. It was so fascinating to learn about the process of re-opening the case against Byron De La Beckwith (that pathetic coward!) and what it took to get it to trial and convict him of the murder of Medgar Evers. A great book I'd recommend. I really enjoyed this book. It was so fascinating to learn about the process of re-opening the case against Byron De La Beckwith (that pathetic coward!) and what it took to get it to trial and convict him of the murder of Medgar Evers. A great book I'd recommend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    Never Too Late, is an tragic but uplifting tale of a prosecutor's fight for justice and the redemption of one state's brutal history. Never Too Late, is an tragic but uplifting tale of a prosecutor's fight for justice and the redemption of one state's brutal history.

  5. 4 out of 5

    April

    Great legal memoir!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  7. 5 out of 5

    Randy Turner

  8. 5 out of 5

    Graham

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lily

  10. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

  11. 5 out of 5

    Barry

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Short

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dana Vaid

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Dorval

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melina

  16. 4 out of 5

    Deb Whitley

  17. 4 out of 5

    Su

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  19. 5 out of 5

    DEBBIE BUKOVAN

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lillian

  23. 4 out of 5

    James L Altieri

  24. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan Klopfer

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jacole Laryea

  27. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emma Haddix

  30. 5 out of 5

    Padma

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