3 Guilty of Hate Crimes in Mississippi Murder
Trio attacked black people for sport
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2012 1:38 AM CDT
Deryl Dedmon, 19, is ushered out of court Wednesday after being sentenced to life.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, Pool)

(Newser) – Three young white men in Mississippi have become the first people in the Deep South convicted under a 2009 federal hate crime law. Deryl Dedmon, 19—who pleaded guilty to murder earlier this state murder charges—and two accomplices admitted that they repeatedly drove to the city of Jackson to find black people to harass and assault, the New York Times reports. They pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to violating the civil rights of a 47-year-old man Dedmon ran over and killed.

The men, choosing people they believed were drunk or homeless and would not go to the police, attacked their victims with fists, bottles, and slingshots, the court heard. All three face up to life in prison. Dedmon, sentenced to life without parole on the state charges, will probably serve an expected 50-year sentence in federal prison before beginning his state sentence, according to the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center. "It would be dangerous for him to serve his time in a Mississippi state prison that has a predominantly black population, given the nature of these crimes," he says.

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Showing 3 of 32 comments
Mar 23, 2012 11:22 PM CDT
It is hard to believe that in this time of technology that we would have surpassed racism--but these barbaric acts by these three young white men show that prejudice is alive and doing murderous and torturous acts to our countrys black race. This is scary and outrageous.
Mar 23, 2012 11:42 AM CDT
My thought is that those three assholes should not go to prison. Instead, they should be set loose in an arena filled with those who want to participate and be stoned, assaulted in any way possible, hit with slingshots and run over with a car for a finale. Prison will be too easy for them.
Mar 23, 2012 8:09 AM CDT
The parents and community of these young murderers have played a huge role in teaching the principle of hate and should get much of the credit for all of this.