Hinds County Courthouse

In Hinds County court, attorney R. Jess Brown represented Freedom Riders, like Stokely Carmichael, Rita Carter, Catherine Burks, James L. Farmer, and Rev. Robert L. Pierson, the son-in-law of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Rev. Pierson celebrated High Mass for fiteen Episcopal clergy and two others while in jail in 1961. While some of the prisoners were able to arrange for bond money, others had to work off their payment at Parchman or the county farm at the rate of $3 per day.

In this courthouse, Byron De La Beckwith was tried twice in 1964 for the murder of Medgar Evers. Both trials ended in hung juries. Retried in 1994, Beckwith was finally convicted of Evers’ murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Sources:

“Civil Rights Driving Tour of Hinds County”produced by the Associated Press, Tougaloo College, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Mississippi Development Authority (Tourism Division).