Blood Justice

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How would you like to be accused of a crime and then be disenfranchised because of your race? Well this is what happened to Mark Charles Parker because he allegedly raped June Walters a pregnant white woman on February 23 1959. In Howard Smead’s historical nonfiction book Blood Justice he describes one of the most important investigations of a racist, motivated crime in the history of the United States.

Blood Justice is about the killing of Mark Charles Parker and the investigation after his death. Mark Charles Parker was accused of the rape of June Walters which

Occurred on March 1, 1959. R. Jess Brown a well-known African American lawyer represented Parker. On April 13th an all white grand jury indited Parker for rape and two counts of kidnapping. On April 17th Parker pleaded not guilty to each charge. Next Parker’s trial date was set for April 27th. Then Brown asked Judge Sebe Dale’s to drop the case because a black man was not on the grand jury. Brown did this because of a recent ruling made by the 5th U.S. circuit court of Appeals. The ruling stated that it was unconstitutional for a jury of an all white people to convict a black man. The ruling went on to say that one African American had to be on a jury when an African American was on trial. This defense tactic by Brown was a legally intelligent thing to do but this actually became the motive for the mob to kill Parker.

On Friday April 24th J.P. Walker, Preacher Lee, Crip Reyer and L.C. Davis got into Reyer’s Oldsmobile and they took off on a mission to kill Mark Charles Parker. (3 other cars of men followed) They went to the courthouse/jail in Poplarville and they could not get in. So they went to Jewel Alford’s House (The jail keeper) to get the keys to the Jail. Alford went with the four men to the courthouse. When he got there he went in and down the hall to Sheriff Moody’s office and got the keys to the jail. He opened the door to the jail and Lee, Reyer, Davis, Walker followed Alford into the jail. Alford then opened Parkers cell and Lee and Davis pulled Parker out of the jail and courthouse to the Reyer's Oldsmobile. Alford then left and the men got into the car.

The Oldsmobile sped away and the other cars followed.

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