Blood Justice: The Lynching of Mack Charles Parker

By Howard Smead | Go to book overview

11
The Triumph of Southem Justice

As the nation stirred over John F. Kennedy's announcement that he would seek his party's nomination for president, federal district judge Sidney Mize announced he would empanel the federal grand jury on Monday morning, January 4, in Biloxi's shiny new glass and marble Federal Building. A five-man team of government lawyers would represent the government's case to the twenty-three-man southern Mississippi jury. To balance the two Justice Department attorneys from Washington, U.S. Attorney Hauberg in Jackson received permission for his two assistants, Jack McDill and Ed Holmes, to participate. Leading the thirteen lawyers of the defense team were Elijah Bragg Williams of Poplarville, Bidwell Adam of Gulfport, and the able Gulfport attorney Stanford Morse, assisted closely by his two sons and grandson. As the mass of Southern legal experts crowded around the two tables in Mize's courtroom, it became apparent that there was conflict within both teams. For the worried defense, Bidwell Adam argued vehemently that they should instruct their clients to invoke the Fifth Amendment, while the cagey Elijah Bragg Williams cautioned they should obey Mize's directions as much as possible. Williams's superior preparation for the case soon made him the chief strategist. Across the aisle, Brooks and Kehoe approached their case vigorously, convinced

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