Mississippi Judge Pleads Guilty To Federal Obstruction

DeLaughterWe have been following the lawyers and judges implicated in the corruption scandal surrounding lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs. Now the scandal has claimed another individual: Mississippi judge Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter, 55, has pleaded guilty.

DeLaughter was a former prosecutor who made international headlines in a famous civil rights case that brought the 1963 shooter of NAACP leader Medgar Evans to justice in 1994. He became a judge in 2002.

Here is his bio from the court page:

Judge Bobby B. DeLaughter graduated from Jackson Wingfield High School in 1972, where he was Student Body President. After graduating from the Ole Miss Law School in 1977, he practiced law in Jackson for ten years before becoming a prosecutor in the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office, where he tried a variety of cases ranging from thefts to capital-murder death-penalty cases. First appointed to the county court bench in 1999 by former Governor Kirk Fordice, Judge DeLaughter was subsequently elected to retain that post with almost eighty percent (80 %) of the vote. He was appointed to the circuit court by Governor Ronnie Musgrove, effective June 1, 2002, to fill the unexpired term of retiring Judge L. Breland Hilburn. Judge DeLaughter is unopposed in seeking election for a full term to that position.

Past President of the Mississippi Prosecutors’ Association, a former member of the National District Attorneys’ Association Board of Directors, and graduate of the FBI’s National Law Institute in Quantico, Virginia, he has been honored as one of Mississippi Magazine’s “Fifteen Great Mississippians,” and served as lawyer-in-residence at Pepperdine Law School in Malibu, California. He was also the first recipient of the Law Alumni Public Service Award, presented annually by the faculty of the Ole Miss Law School, “in recognition of his devotion to the public good as demonstrated by his record of outstanding public service.”

His closing argument in the Medgar Evers murder case is one of ten featured in Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: Greatest Closing Arguments in Modern Law, published by Scribner Publishing Co. Judge DeLaughter has authored a personal memoir about the case, Never Too Late, also published by Scribner. His book won the non-fiction award of the Mississippi Institute of Arts & Letters.

Judge DeLaughter and his wife, Peggy, live in Terry with the youngest of their six children

For the full story, click here and here.

6 thoughts on “Mississippi Judge Pleads Guilty To Federal Obstruction”

  1. I think this is a way that Byron De La Beckwiths friends have a way of getting back at the honorable Prosecutor Bobby Delaughter
    I was a state witness for the Evers family and since I testified it’s been pure hell. I consider Bobby Delaughter a hero and will always be in my thoughts and prayers
    Peggy Morgan

  2. I am amazed that this has reached the parchment papers. It is done all the time. What influence did this judge wield off of the bench. He received nothing monetarily from this mishap.

    Ok, so he lied or did not remember that he talked to someone. This happens all of the time. If Geo the First was still in office would he still be lying when he can not recall the Iran situation or Nicaragua incident? Would Ollie North had been convicted.

    What he did was stand up to the people that supported the silent conspiracy of complacent whites against Medgar Evans murderer. It took some time but they got that Bastard. I am sure that this is the sentiment of a lot of folks.

    Standing up for ones convictions a lot of times cost more than going along to get along.

  3. From the first article link:


    “As a judge, DeLaughter has drawn praise for work, moving his docket quickly and handling as many as 1,200 cases in a year. And he has been praised for his innovations, getting bad check writers to work off their debts, rather than sending them to prison for eight years or more”

    According to prosecutors, the bribe itself was not money, but Scruggs recommending DeLaughter for a federal judgeship to his brother-in-law, then-U.S. senatorTrent Lott.

    A Lott spokesman has said the senator made a “courtesy call” to DeLaughter and that DeLaughter was never seriously considered for the position. Lott recommended someone else.

    Matt Steffey, professor of Mississippi College School of Law, is among those angered that Peters — who has endured his share of investigations and charges — has dodged a conviction again.

    He believes what’s happened to DeLaughter resembles a Shakespearean tragedy. “Unlike the other players in this drama, he did not gain great wealth,” he said.

    Instead, DeLaughter’s flaw was misplaced loyalty, he said. “Many people see it as tragic because but for his longtime friend and mentor, Ed Peters, initiating unlawful activity, Judge DeLaughter would remain a public servant.”

    It was loyalty Peters himself did not display, he said. “When push came to shove, he was willing to implicate his friend in order to avoid prison time himself.”

    End Quote}

    I agree that this a tragedy regarding what can happen to a good man who makes an error in judgment over loyalty and then lies about it. Loyalty must never have more import than one’s integrity.

  4. “Dickie,” “Bobby,” what is it with these guys? I know very few grown men who go by their childhood nicknames. Maybe that’s why these two got into trouble–they haven’t grown up. I wondered what caused that wacky press conference by Clinton Defense Secretary nominee, Adm. “Bobby Ray” Inman, in 1994. Now I think I know.

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