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Unformatted text preview: s got a guilty verdict reversed on the grounds that the jury was predisposed to convict since his client certainly looked guilty as hell in his orange jail suit. And he was right. Kinda hard to convince a jury you're not guilty when you're dressed like an inmate and wearing rubber shower shoes." Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html I marveled once again at the backwardness of Mississippi. I could see a criminal defendant, especially a black one, facing a jury and expecting a fair trial, wearing jail garb designed to be spotted from half a mile away. "Still fightin' the War," was a slogan I'd heard several times in Ford County. There was a frustrating resistance to change, especially where crime and punishment were concerned. - --- Around noon the following day I walked to the jail looking for Sheriff Coley. Under the pretext of asking him questions about the Kassellaw investigation, I planned to see as many of the inmates as possible. His secretary informed me, rather rudely, that he was in a meeting, and that was fine with me. Two prisoners were cleaning the front offices. Outside, two more were pulling weeds from a flower bed. I walked around the block and behind the jail I saw a small open area with a basketball goal. Six prisoners were loitering under the shade of a small oak tree. On the east side of the jail I saw three prisoners standing in a window, behind bars, gazing down at me. Thirteen inmates in all. Thirteen orange suits. Wiley's nephew was consulted about things around the jail. At first he was reluctant to talk, but he had a deep hatred of Sheriff Coley, and he thought he could trust me. He confirmed what Baggy had suspected—Danny Padgitt was living the good life in an air-conditioned cell and eating whatever he wanted. He dressed as he wished, played checkers with the Sheriff himself, and made phone calls all day long. - --- The next edition of theTimes did much to solidify my reputation as a hard-charging, fearless, twenty-three-year-old fool. On the...
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- Spring '10