Bobby Delaughter, Byron De La Beckwith's Prosecutor, Goes To Jail
Bobby DeLaughter"Is it ever too late to do the right thing? For the sake of justice and the hope of us as a civilized society, I sincerely hope and pray that it's not."
Robert "Bobby" DeLaughter, a former star judge and prosecutor, reported to jail today. DeLaughter is famous for helping to convict Byron De La Beckwith, the killer of civil rights leader Medgar Evers. DeLaughter was accused of lying to the FBI in a judicial corruption case. In November 2009, DeLaughter was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on charges of the obstruction of justice in a bribery case. DeLaughter is to serve his sentence in Kentucky.
DeLaughter was widely regarded as a civil rights hero for prosecuting Byron De La Beckwith in a 31-year-old unsolved murder case. Some in the legal community have called Delaughter's imprisonment "tragic."
Byron De La Beckwith was a white supremacist and a Klansman convicted of the first-degree murder of Medgar Evers. Beckwith was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Although the murder of Evers took place in 1963, the trial that finally saw Beckwith being sentenced did not take place until January 1994. Bobby Delaughter played a pivotal role in the case, but was later disbarred for the involvement in the attorney Richard Scruggs bribery case. Scruggs was implicated in trying to influence some of the Mississippi judges, including DeLaughter. In 2008, DeLaughter was suspended from the bench indefinitely. Delaughter denied charges and pleaded not guilty in February of 2009; but, he later pleaded guilty to one charge of obstruction of justice that did not include admitting bribery in July 2009, for which Delaughter was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.
No financial penalties were imposed on DeLaughter due to the pityful state of affairs that his family is in. The relatives of Medgar Evers are trying to raise funds to support Delaughter and his family through his imprisonment.