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<v Announcer>A production of the Mississippi Center for Educational Television, the Parchman Trials <v Announcer>58:30 7/25/78 Director Less Anderson. <v Announcer>This program funded by a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. <v Washington>Let me off, before I fall off.
<v Guard 1>Yeah, keep it up. <v Guard 1>Washington. <v Guard 1>But you got a while ago, yeah. <v Washington>Why? Why don't why don't you let me help the man with the leaves? <v Washington>'Cause I'm, I'm gonna fall off from here. <v Inmates>[Unintelligible] <v Richard Johnson>Man Give me a cigarette. <v Inmate 1>Say man, how long he been out there. <v Richard Johnson> Man's been out there ten, eleven hours. <v Richard Johnson>Man, that dude too old to be standing on that crate. <v John Wesley Washington>Take me off. I'm going to fall off. Oh God. God.
<v John Wesley Washington>Christ. <v Guard 1>Stay put. Man. <v John Wesley Washington>If you don't let me off. I'm gonna fall off. <v Guard 1>Washington catch that box. <v Guard 1>Catch that box, Washington. <v Guard 1>I said, cut that damn box [shoots rifle]. <v Guard 1>Washington-. <v John Wesley Washington>[Sobs] Oh God oh God oh God. <v Guard 1>[Rifle shot]. <v Inmate 1>What's going on out there?
<v Inmate 2>Hey, man, you really dumb talking to that lawyer? <v Richard Johnson>You mean you ain't gonna? <v Inmate 2>You crazy. You're talking ain't no lawyer nowhere gonna be able to help you. <v Guard 2>Water break. <v Guard 2>Right here. Bring that bucket on in here boy. <v Water boy>There you go [unintelligible]. <v Richard Johnson>I don't care. I ain't gonna let them get away with it, especially after they shot old Washington. <v Inmate 2>You really liked that old man, huh? <v Richard Johnson>Yeah. Got them off of me in the shower one day. <v Inmate 2>Man, I really hate this chop and cut. <v Richard Johnson>What do you mean? You learnin' a trade. <v Richard Johnson>Learnin' how to make it on the outside, Mr. You've been <v Richard Johnson>in rehability. <v Inmate 2>Yeah, and we're still just like slaves on the plantation. <v Richard Johnson>You ain't got no call to complain. You won't stand up like a man and tell it like it is. <v Inmate 2>Listen man. I'm serving my own time.
<v Inmate 2>Yeah. <v Richard Johnson>And you're gonna let them do you just like they wanna. <v Richard Johnson>Things they ain't got no right to do. <v Inmate 2>Don't don't do it. <v Richard Johnson>Man, this place done broke you. <v Inmate 2>I'm servin' my own time and getting out of this place. <v Inmate 2>You, you lookin' for trouble. <v Richard Johnson>What do you think you've got right now? <v Editor>Deadline's 8:00 p.m. sam. <v Sam Osborne>This part of the story is taking longer than I thought. <v Editor>The lawsuit really got them all stirred up over there. <v Sam Osborne>A veritable frenzy. Something may really come of it. <v Editor>Like what? <v Sam Osborne>Like total integration. <v Sam Osborne>Like doing away with the armed trusty system. <v Editor>And who's going to guard the prisoners. <v Sam Osborne>Oh civilian guards like any other prison.
<v Editor>Mhmmm. And who's going to give them the money to pay the guards? <v Editor>The legislature? <v Editor>Parchman isn't gonna change. <v Editor>And you ain't gonna get the politics out of it. <v Editor>Nothing's gonna change. <v Sam Osborne>I hope you're wrong. <v Sam Osborne>Have you ever been up there? <v Editor>No. <v Sam Osborne>You don't want to go. <v Sam Osborne>You don't want to think that people live like that. <v Editor>It's that bad? <v Sam Osborne>Yeah I think it's that bad. <v Sam Osborne>At least according to the depositions. <v Sam Osborne>Seems that everything Parchman's been for the last 70 years is coming out. <v Sam Osborne>Finally. It's like a history. <v Editor>Well, one good thing about Parchman, it's always news. <v Sam Osborne>March 13, 1971, special to the Delta Press-Tribune by <v Sam Osborne>Sam Osborne. <v Sam Osborne>Evidence continues to mount in the massive prison reform suit. <v Sam Osborne>Gates versus Collioure as inmates come forward to testify.
<v Attorney 1>Washington, you understand that you're not being tried. <v Attorney 1>The information you give us in this deposition will be used later when the case comes to <v Attorney 1>trial. Yes. Would you state your name, please? <v John Wesley Washington>John Wesley, Washington. <v Attorney 1>And how long have you been a prisoner of Parchman? <v John Wesley Washington>Thirtieth of this month would be eighteen year. <v Sam Osborne>The Mississippi attorney general's office represented the defendants in the case. <v Sam Osborne>Superintended of Parchman, the penitentiary board and the governor of Mississippi. <v Sam Osborne>The lawyer for the plaintiffs: the attorney from the U.S. <v Sam Osborne>Department of Justice, which filed a motion to enter the suit against the defendants. <v Attorney 1>Mr. Washington, you state that you've been permanently injured due to your incarceration <v Attorney 1>at Parchman. <v John Wesley Washington>Well, I can't walk good. <v Attorney 1>And what happened that caused you not to be able to walk well?
<v John Wesley Washington>Sergeant. <v John Wesley Washington>He made me sit down on a box. <v Attorney 1>Excuse me. <v John Wesley Washington>It's a it's a balancing. <v John Wesley Washington>You have to stand on a Coca-Cola bottle box. <v Attorney 1>You were shot by a trustee. <v John Wesley Washington>Yes. <v Attorney 1>And a trusty is an inmate armed by the Parchman administration for the purpose of <v Attorney 1>guarding other inmates. <v John Wesley Washington>Yes, sir. <v Attorney 1>May we see where you were shot? <v John Wesley Washington>Right here in the leg see? <v Attorney 2>Mr. Washington, why were you being punished? <v John Wesley Washington>Well, they said I stole somethin' from somebody here <v John Wesley Washington>at camp. <v Attorney 1>Mr. Washington, have you ever been imprisoned in solitary confinement in the dark <v Attorney 1>hole? <v John Wesley Washington>Yes sir. <v Attorney 1>And what was the longest time you spent in the dark hole? <v John Wesley Washington>Couple of days.
<v Attorney 1>Days? <v John Wesley Washington>Days. <v Attorney 1>Mr. Washington, I would like you to look at some photos I have here marked Exhibit eight. <v Attorney 1>I'd like you to describe them for us. <v John Wesley Washington>That's the hole. <v Attorney 1>Would you describe the hole? <v John Wesley Washington>It's about six foot <v John Wesley Washington>square. <v Attorney 1>No windows? <v John Wesley Washington>No no nothing. No windows, no lights, no sink, no nothing. <v Attorney 1>What clothing did you wear when you were kept in the dark hole? <v John Wesley Washington>I didn't wear no clothes. I didn't wear none. <v Attorney 1>You were placed in the dark hole naked? <v John Wesley Washington>Naked. <v Sam Osborne>In addition to inmates, Parchman officials from the superintendent down to camp <v Sam Osborne>sergeants are being called to give depositions.
<v Attorney 1>And how long have you been an official at Parchman? <v Parchman official>Seven years. <v Parchman official>Little longer than seven years. <v Attorney 1>All right, would you explain the trustee system as its practice department? <v Parchman official>This is a security system we operate under by state law. <v Parchman official>We have the sergeant select their trustees from among the inmates and their camps. <v Parchman official>And these trustees guard and oversee the inmates in the fields. <v Attorney 3>So basically it's a case of prisoners guarding prisoners. <v Parchman official>That's right. <v Attorney 3>Would a conviction of murder preclude an inmate from being named trustee? <v Parchman official>No. <v Attorney 3>Would a conviction of armed robbery? <v Sam Osborne>In 1971, the Mississippi legislature issued a report detailing inadequacies <v Sam Osborne>at Parchman and directed the penitentiary board to eliminate armed trustees. <v Sam Osborne>By 1974. <v Parchman official>Yes. All right. <v Attorney 3>How would you describe the general conditions of the camps <v Attorney 3>and sanitary facilities? <v Parchman official>I'd have to say poor.
<v Attorney 3>For which conditions are poor? <v Parchman official>The building. The water, the sewage is poor. <v Parchman official>The bathroom facilities are poor. <v Sam Osborne>Four days before the trial was scheduled to begin, the penitentiary, in effect conceded <v Sam Osborne>the case. The evidence was overwhelming. <v Sam Osborne>Judge William Keady met with attorneys, federal officials and Governor William Waller <v Sam Osborne>to make the last-minute settlement. <v Defense Attorney>We are, in effect, your honor, admitting the constitutional <v Defense Attorney>provisions have been violated. <v John>Hey Sam. <v Sam Osborne>John.
<v Sam Osborne>Parchman to be model prison? <v John>That's what I wrote. <v Sam Osborne>There's not one word in your story about the conditions in Parchman. <v Sam Osborne>Not one word about the state throwing in the towel, just Parchman to <v Sam Osborne>be model prison. <v John>That's what the whole thing's about. <v Waitress>Hi, what can I get to you today? <v Sam Osborne>Hi Julianne, a chicken salad sandwich, please. <v Sam Osborne>And coffee. <v Waitress>Okay. Do you need anything else? <v John>No, thank you. <v Sam Osborne>I'm glad there's more than one paper in the delta. <v Sam Osborne>What it's all about the way people have to live at Parchman. <v Sam Osborne>Judge Keady's still going to rule on the evidence. <v Sam Osborne>Getting out of the trial is not going to get Parchman out of the suit. <v John>They're just foregoing the trial so they can get some federal money to work on the place. <v John>Parchman is not admitting anything. <v Sam Osborne>Cutting their losses, they're beaten. They know it. <v Sam Osborne>They must have had some case against them.
<v John>If you give any credence to a bunch of convicts. <v Sam Osborne>The governor said to Judge Keady, we are, your honor. <v Sam Osborne>Admitting unconstitutional practices. <v John>I have known every superintendent at Parchman for the last 20 years. <v John>They're good Christian men. They're doing a damn good job considering their budget. <v John>Don't have any riots. Only prison in the country where a man can be alone with his <v John>wife and picking a little cotton never hurt anybody. <v Sam Osborne>The point is that-. <v John>People seem to forget that these are criminals we're talking about. <v John>They're not up there for singing too loud in church. <v Sam Osborne>We're talking about constitutional rights. <v John>Osburn, those guys don't have any rights. <v John>They lost their right to rights. <v Sam Osborne>You really think that? <v John>They knew the penalty when they broke the law. <v John>I have no sympathy for them. <v Sam Osborne>All they've been through up there are still human beings. <v Waitress>What else now?
<v Sam Osborne>That's all. Thank you. <v John>It's not as bad as you think. <v John>Have you been up there? <v Sam Osborne>Yeah, I've been there. I've seen the way they live. <v Sam Osborne>If you don't think it's bad, you're crazy or you don't have your facts straight. <v John>Listen, Sam. They've got those people locked up to protect us, <v John>the victims. That's what prisons are for. <v Sam Osborne>I agree. But Parchman isn't-. <v John>All Parchman needs is time and money, not lawsuits. <v John>Lots of things that could stand some work. <v John>Tell your friends in the legislature they could use a realistic budget to do it with <v John>their working on it. <v Sam Osborne>Yeah, but don't you understand? Only with a lawsuit breathing down their collective <v Sam Osborne>necks. That's what it took, apparently. <v John>What do you want? A Holiday Inn for a bunch of murderers. <v John>Seems like you and people like you are more concerned about those criminals than you are <v John>about decent people who somehow manage to live according to the law.
<v Sam Osborne>You wait until judge Keady rules and then we'll see what the law says about Parchman. <v Judge Keady>Conditions in Parchman are philosophically, psychologically, <v Judge Keady>physically, racially and morally intolerable. <v Judge Keady>Housing units at Parchman are unfit for human habitation under <v Judge Keady>any modern concept of decent. <v Judge Keady>Penitentiary records indicate that many of the armed trusties <v Judge Keady>have been convicted of violent crimes. <v Judge Keady>Although many inmates possess knives, other handmade weapons. <v Judge Keady>There is no established requirement or procedure for conducting shakedowns <v Judge Keady>to discover such weapons. <v Judge Keady>There is no way that anyone can guard the safety of an inmate <v Judge Keady>in the Parchman situation. <v Inmate 3>Oh, look at the book all night man. <v Inmate 4>Oh, God.
<v Inmate 4>Oh, God, do not take this [unintelligible]. <v William Harden Bogard>God's over, man. Man, you better get that sewing machine out of there. <v Inmate 3>You got to watch that man. <v Inmate 4>I'm watchin' that man. <v All>[Talking over each other.] <v Inmate 5> Hey, just don't take your eyes, man, off our players tell you. <v Inmate 5>I want to be free. <v Inmate 3>You got it. <v Inmate 3>No, he went back home. Went back on the farm. <v Speaker>[Stabbing occurs]. <v All>Oh, no, no, no. <v All>Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, <v All>hey, hey, hey.
<v Sam Osborne>In September of 1974 in Greenville, Mississippi, a former Parchman <v Sam Osborne>inmate sued penitentiary officials claiming they were responsible for conditions <v Sam Osborne>at Parchman, which led to his stabbing. <v Sam Osborne>Defendants included former Parchman, superintendents Tom Cook and John Collier <v Sam Osborne>and former Parchman physician Dr. Hernando Abril. <v Judge Almer Smith>At this point, I'm going to ask the parties if they'll make an opening statement. <v Sam Osborne>Judge Almer Smith, United States district court judge. <v Lawrence Zelle>The plaintiff in this action is William Harden Bogard. <v Lawrence Zelle>Mr. Bogard. <v Lawrence Zelle>Is paralyzed from the waist down. <v Sam Osborne>Lawrence Zelle, one of three attorneys representing Bogard.
<v Lawrence Zelle>The evidence will show that this man was injured seriously <v Lawrence Zelle>and severely because of deprivation of his constitutional <v Lawrence Zelle>rights. And because of cruel and unusual <v Lawrence Zelle>treatment while at Parchman. <v Lawrence Zelle>And it was not Mr. Bogard alone. He wasn't just singled out. <v Lawrence Zelle>But he is the man sitting in the wheelchair. <v Lawrence Zelle>The evidence will show that these individuals who had the statutory <v Lawrence Zelle>responsibility to run and administer Parchman didn't do a very good job. <v Lawrence Zelle>Notwithstanding that they may have had limited funds to work with. <v Lawrence Zelle>And notwithstanding that it was a bad prison to begin with. <v Lawrence Zelle>The evidence will show living <v Lawrence Zelle>conditions in these camps, particularly, the black camps
<v Lawrence Zelle>were subhuman. <v Lawrence Zelle>You will hear about the insecurity of life at Parchman. <v Lawrence Zelle>And how it was from day to day, a question of survival. <v Lawrence Zelle>That is where Mr. Bogard went. <v Lawrence Zelle>The evidence will show clearly that Parchman was <v Lawrence Zelle>a disgrace and a shame <v Lawrence Zelle>to the state of Mississippi. <v James Robertson>Ladies. <v James Robertson>If I heard Mr. Zelle correctly. <v James Robertson>If I heard the entire tenor of his presentation. <v James Robertson>He might as well have been asking you to take Mr Cook <v James Robertson>and Mr Collier, these men who went up to the penitentiary
<v James Robertson>in complete good faith and tried to do the best <v James Robertson>they could. <v James Robertson>To take them out and string them up. <v James Robertson>Now ladies-. <v Sam Osborne>James Robertson, Greenville is one of four attorneys for the defense, <v Sam Osborne>he represented the United States Fidelity and Guarantee Company, which had bonded, <v Sam Osborne>superintendents Cook and Collier. <v James Robertson>But it is obvious that the plaintiff wants to put on trial the Mississippi State <v James Robertson>Penitentiary and for that purpose they have got the wrong <v James Robertson>defendants. <v James Robertson>Where is the legislature of the state of Mississippi? <v James Robertson>Which by statute authorized and directed the administration to use <v James Robertson>this trusty system. <v James Robertson>Where is the legislature of the state of Mississippi that by statute <v James Robertson>said use this dark hole? <v James Robertson>What about the governor of Mississippi who appoints the superintendents?
<v James Robertson>And what about the people of Mississippi who scream about taxes constantly? <v James Robertson>And the legislature hears that and appropriates a pittance for the operation <v James Robertson>of the penitentiary. They have got the wrong man. <v Richard Johnson>Hey John Wesley! <v John Wesley Washington>Hey Richard. <v Richard Johnson>I ain't seen you in a while! <v John Wesley Washington>I've been in disability camp. <v John Wesley Washington>They transferred me there when I got shot for falling off those damn crates.
<v Richard Johnson>You testifying too? <v John Wesley Washington>Oh yeah <v Richard Johnson>Hey, John Wesley. <v Richard Johnson>What you think they gonna ask us about at the trial? <v John Wesley Washington>Well ask about what it's like at Parchman how bad it is. <v Richard Johnson>Well, what you gonna tell them? <v John Wesley Washington>How bad it is. It is just like I told them three years ago when they asked me the same <v John Wesley Washington>thing. <v Richard Johnson>Do you think us testifying before really did us any good? <v John Wesley Washington>I suspect so. <v John Wesley Washington>Some good anyway, leastwise. Those damn trusters ain't got no guns no more. <v Richard Johnson>They gonna ask you 'bout Bogard? <v John Wesley Washington>Expect they is. <v Richard Johnson>You see it when he stabbed him? <v John Wesley Washington>Yes. <v Richard Johnson>I don't care nothin' about Bogard. <v Richard Johnson>You know, that. <v Richard Johnson>Man can't move his can move his legs.
<v John Wesley Washington>Yeah. <v Richard Johnson>Can't move nothing from the waist down. <v Richard Johnson>Can't never have another woman again. <v John Wesley Washington>Yeah. <v Richard Johnson>That old slicker Just walk up to him and stuck him. <v Richard Johnson>Had I been there could have been me just as easy. <v Richard Johnson>You never know. <v Richard Johnson>You never know when somebody stick you or crack you over the <v Richard Johnson>head. <v John Wesley Washington>That's right. <v Sam Osborne>Bogard's attorney called several Parchman inmates to testify about Parchman conditions. <v Sam Osborne>The first aspect of Bogard's suit, although many of the inmates who testified were black, <v Sam Osborne>violence at Parchman crossed racial lines and was prevalent among white inmates as well. <v Sam Osborne>Testimony was limited to events and conditions up to July 1972 <v Sam Osborne>and did not refer necessarily to conditions at the time of the trial.
<v Sam Osborne>1974. <v Bailiff>Nothing but the truth, so help you God. <v Richard Johnson>I do. <v Sam Osborne>David Lipman of the Mississippi Prisoners Defense Committee, Bogard's principal attorney. <v David Lipman>For the record, would you state your name? <v Richard Johnson>Richard Johnson. <v David Lipman>Where do you currently reside? <v Richard Johnson>Parchman Prison. <v David Lipman>What crime were you convicted of? <v Richard Johnson>Burglary. <v Sam Osborne>You remember Johnson from Gates? <v John>He testified in Gates too. <v John>He likes to testify. <v John>The testifying burglar. <v John>I bet he's a Muslim. <v Sam Osborne>He's a pretty articulate guy. <v John>It's very easy to make romantic, oppressed heroes of these guys and forget the simple <v John>fact that they're up there in the first place for killing, raping or <v John>robbing somebody. <v Court>Some of [unintelligible].
<v Sam Osborne>You ought to read his Gates deposition. <v John>I don't have to. They're trying Gates right now. <v Sam Osborne>The second aspect of the suit dealt with the personal injuries Bogarde sustained while an <v Sam Osborne>inmate at Parchman. <v Sam Osborne>First of these was an incident in which he was shot in the foot by an inmate trusty. <v Sam Osborne>But the major damages were being sought for the stabbing. <v Lawrence Zelle>State your full name. <v James B. Davis>James B. Davis. <v Lawrence Zelle>Where do you presently reside? Mr. Davis? <v James B. Davis>At Parchman Penitentiary. <v Lawrence Zelle>How long have you been in Parchman? <v James B. Davis>Five years. <v Lawrence Zelle>You were admitted on a charge of armed robbery? <v James B. Davis>Right. <v Lawrence Zelle>And you've since been convicted of assault with intent to kill. <v James B. Davis>Right. <v Lawrence Zelle>Involving the assault and stabbing of William Harding Bogarde. <v James B. Davis>Correct. <v Lawrence Zelle>Do you see Mr. Bogard in the courtroom?
<v James B. Davis>I do. <v Lawrence Zelle>Do you recognize him as the man whom you stabbed on July 7th, 1972? <v James B. Davis>I do. <v Lawrence Zelle>Your rule for living at Parchman: anybody who is a threat to you, you're <v Lawrence Zelle>going to kill them before they kill you. <v James B. Davis>If they threatened my life. <v James B. Davis>Yes. <v Lawrence Zelle>Remember the sewing machine incident? <v James B. Davis>Yes, I do. <v Lawrence Zelle>That was the day of the stabbing, wasn't it? <v James B. Davis>Correct. <v Lawrence Zelle>You had this sewing machine in the cage. <v James B. Davis>Right. <v Lawrence Zelle>Bogard had told you that it shouldn't be there. <v James B. Davis>Right. <v Lawrence Zelle>He told you to get it out. <v James B. Davis>He did. <v Lawrence Zelle>Didn't do it, did you? <v James B. Davis>No, I didn't. <v James B. Davis>It didn't concern Bogard.
<v Lawrence Zelle>Did Bogard tell Sergeant Peaks? <v James B. Davis>Yes, he did. <v Lawrence Zelle>Did Peaks come and tell you to get the sewing machine out? <v James B. Davis>Yes, he did. <v Lawrence Zelle>You still didn't do it. <v James B. Davis>No, I didn't. <v Lawrence Zelle>You didn't like it that Bogard told him about it? <v James B. Davis>No, I didn't. <v Lawrence Zelle>You were going to get him, weren't you? <v James B. Davis>Yes, I was. <v Lawrence Zelle>And you were gonna get Peaks, too, weren't you? <v James B. Davis>Yes, I was. <v Lawrence Zelle>And anybody else that was around. <v James B. Davis>Right. <v Lawrence Zelle>Went and got a knife, didn't you? <v James B. Davis>Correct. <v Lawrence Zelle>You didn't have any trouble getting it. Did you? <v James B. Davis>No, I didn't. <v Lawrence Zelle>It was in the cage. <v James B. Davis>Right. <v Lawrence Zelle>It was your knife? <v James B. Davis>No, it wasn't my knife was the state's knife. <v Lawrence Zelle>Started out that way.
<v Lawrence Zelle>You borrowed it for a while. <v James B. Davis>Right. <v Lawrence Zelle>Started off in the slaughterhouse, didn't it? <v James B. Davis>Right. <v Lawrence Zelle>On July 7th, 1972, you decided to use it to <v Lawrence Zelle>kill someone. Is that right? <v Lawrence Zelle>Did you not? <v James B. Davis>I did. <v Lawrence Zelle>Do you know how to kill a man with a knife? <v James B. Davis>I do. <v Lawrence Zelle>What was your intention when you approached Belgard? <v James B. Davis>To the heart. <v Lawrence Zelle>Tell us what you did. <v James B. Davis>A single thrust.
<v James B. Davis> <v Lawrence Zelle>There's no question you are trying to kill him, was there? <v James B. Davis>I was. <v Defense Attorney 1>If you wanted to kill someone at the penitentiary today, <v Defense Attorney 1>could you do it? <v Judge>Just a moment. <v Lawrence Zelle>I object, Your Honor. The question being irrelevant and immaterial. <v Judge Almer Smith>Objection. Overruled. <v James B. Davis>The possibilities are great. <v Defense Attorney 1>And if someone wanted to kill you at the penitentiary, given enough time, <v Defense Attorney 1>couldn't they do it? <v James B. Davis>They could. <v Defense Attorney 1>Now, you have stated that you have been in several other penal <v Defense Attorney 1>institutions or penitentiaries. <v James B. Davis>Right. <v Defense Attorney 1>Have you also stated that the inmates had weapons in these
<v Defense Attorney 1>institutions? <v James B. Davis>I have. <v Judge>Did they conduct shakedown at these other institutions? <v James B. Davis>Yes, they did. <v James B. Davis>Not on a regular basis. <v James B. Davis>No more regular than at uh Parchman. <v Defense Attorney 1>In the shake downs, did they get your weapons? <v James B. Davis>Well, I'd carried a weapon more at other <v James B. Davis>penitentiaries than I did at Parchman. <v Defense Attorney 1>What type of weapon did you carry in the other institutions? <v James B. Davis>Well, at Leavenworth <v James B. Davis>I had a stainless steel rod <v James B. Davis>with a leather handle.
<v James B. Davis>It reached approximately to my knee. <v James B. Davis>It was made into a very keen point. <v James B. Davis>To be driven completely through a person if necessary. <v James B. Davis>If there was any wooden obstacles around, like <v James B. Davis>a table. <v James B. Davis>A wall. <v James B. Davis>I tried to pin him to it like <v James B. Davis>a butterfly. <v Judge>Call your next witness. <v Lawrence Zelle>We would like to have the plaintiff, William Harden Bogard, to take the stand. <v Judge>All right. Come around.
<v Bailiff>Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you <v Bailiff>God? <v William Harden Bogard>I do. <v Attorney>State your full name, please. <v William Harden Bogard>William Howard and Bogarde Junior. <v Attorney>Now, Mr. Bogard, I'm going to ask you if you will sort of describe to the court and the <v Attorney>jury what your average day is like as a paraplegic. <v William Harden Bogard>I am just like a dope addict. <v William Harden Bogard>I have the sack pills over there to take every day. <v William Harden Bogard>All day long. <v William Harden Bogard>First of all, I have to carry myself to defend myself. <v William Harden Bogard>I have to hold my legs together. <v William Harden Bogard>Because if I don't, it is just like being in a fistfight. <v William Harden Bogard>They can throw you out of the chair. <v William Harden Bogard>You don't control them, right? <v Attorney>You call it a muscle spasm. <v William Harden Bogard>They can throw you out of the wheelchair very easily.
<v William Harden Bogard>I'm in an awful lot of pain right now. <v William Harden Bogard>24 hours. <v William Harden Bogard>May seem to use, though, I'm sitting here and not suffering at all. <v William Harden Bogard>But I am in pain right now. <v William Harden Bogard>I have been ever since I was stabbed. <v William Harden Bogard>Two years I've been hurtin' every day. <v William Harden Bogard>My body is not normal anymore. <v William Harden Bogard>Nothing can take the place of my legs. <v William Harden Bogard>Nothing. <v Attorney>How do you care for yourself? What do you have people help you? <v William Harden Bogard>Well, I have to have people to help me. <v Attorney>What do they help you do? <v William Harden Bogard>They have to lift me where I can't lift myself. <v William Harden Bogard>They have to sit me on a toilet. <v William Harden Bogard>They have to sit me in a bath tub. Most of the time, I am confined. <v William Harden Bogard>Might as well be back at Parchman. <v William Harden Bogard>Because I am confined. <v William Harden Bogard>When I'm in my home, I am confined.
<v John>He would still be in Parchman if they hadn't pardoned him after the stabbing, let <v John>him go back to Chicago. <v Sam Osborne>Let what's left of him go back? <v Attorney>That completes direct examination of the witness, your Honor. <v Judge>All right, you may take the witness on cross-examination. <v John>Every prisoner who's testified is black. <v John>Why weren't there any white inmates involved? <v Sam Osborne>It was all segregated. Blacks and whites didn't have a chance to kill each other. <v Sam Osborne>If you'd been up there, you know. <v Sam Osborne>Pascol Townsend, co-counsel for the defendant. <v Pascol Townsend>Now, did you ever have any personal incidents that involve Mr. Cook? <v William Harden Bogard>No, I didn't. <v Pascol Townsend>I will ask you same thing now in regard to Mr. Collier that I ask in <v Pascol Townsend>regard to Mr. Cook. <v Pascol Townsend>Was he ever present at any time or involved in any way <v Pascol Townsend>in any incident that you have testified about?
<v William Harden Bogard>No. <v Lawrence Zelle>So would you state your name for the record, please? <v Arnold Juliau>Arnold ?Juliau? <v Lawrence Zelle>And where are you employed? <v Arnold Juliau>Well, I am working in The Parchman. <v Arnold Juliau>The assistant resident in the hospital in Parchman. <v Lawrence Zelle>Who was your immediate superior on July 7th, 1972? <v Arnold Juliau>Well, the chief of the medical staff was Dr. Hernando Abril. <v Lawrence Zelle>Now, I would like to direct your attention to July 7th, 1972. <v Lawrence Zelle>What did you do when Mr. Bogard was brought into the hospital? <v Arnold Juliau>Well, I passed the patient on to the extra room, <v Arnold Juliau>I ordered the test. The film was ready. <v Arnold Juliau>I make all my examinations. <v Arnold Juliau>No feeling at all from the feet to the navel to the the
<v Arnold Juliau>waist. <v Arnold Juliau>And then in comes my boss, and he says to me, what happened? <v Arnold Juliau>Well, the man was stabbed. And the wound was so deep it cut <v Arnold Juliau>the spinal cord. <v Arnold Juliau>We have no equipment. <v Arnold Juliau>This man needs to go to Jackson for for treatment. <v Arnold Juliau>Well, my my boss tells me he says, pass this man on to the <v Arnold Juliau>operating room to to see what we can do for him. <v Lawrence Zelle>Okay. What did Dr. Abril do? <v Arnold Juliau>Well, he cleaned the back of Mr. Bogard. <v Arnold Juliau>He wrapped up Mr. Bogard. <v Arnold Juliau>And tu, tu sabes all the all of these standard procedures, <v Arnold Juliau>when when we're going to to make one up operation. <v Arnold Juliau>And then he began to look for something, some some instrument to
<v Arnold Juliau>to pull out the knife. <v Arnold Juliau>He Pulled with one. Nothing. <v Arnold Juliau>So he pulled with with another, nothing. <v Lawrence Zelle>You say he pulled with one. <v Arnold Juliau>Probe , probe, probe probe test. <v Arnold Juliau>You know, he don't know how to do. <v Arnold Juliau>He he he he. <v Arnold Juliau>Probe with with one in this, his slip, slip, slip. <v Lawrence Zelle>It was slipping off. <v Arnold Juliau>Like a clamp. <v Arnold Juliau>We we have no instrument. <v Arnold Juliau>We we have at that time. <v Arnold Juliau>Also at this time, we have no proper instrument. <v Lawrence Zelle>Was Dr. Abril successful at all at that time in pulling out the knife? <v Arnold Juliau>No, he he failed. He ask, he says who <v Arnold Juliau>is the strongest man in Parchman.
<v Lawrence Zelle>What happened then? <v Arnold Juliau>Well, uh some person I don't. <v Arnold Juliau>I don't remember who. <v Arnold Juliau>The strongest man he asked. <v Arnold Juliau>He says he calls out. He snaps his finger. <v Arnold Juliau>He said, Stapleton, call to Stapleton. <v Lawrence Zelle>Who told them to call to Stapleton? <v Arnold Juliau>Dr. Abril, he requested to to Stapleton. <v Lawrence Zelle>That is boss Stapleton. <v Arnold Juliau>Si, yes. <v Lawrence Zelle>Is boss Stapleton- <v Arnold Juliau>[Unintelligible] boss Stapleton. <v Lawrence Zelle>Is boss Stapleton, an inmate? <v Arnold Juliau>Yes. <v Lawrence Zelle>Then tell us what happened. <v Arnold Juliau>We will we hold the body. <v Arnold Juliau>And start belly. Grab a hold of his stuff and was grasping, <v Arnold Juliau>grasping the the the the the knife, trying to to <v Arnold Juliau>pull out, pull out. <v Arnold Juliau>And we we. <v Arnold Juliau>We hold the thebody of Bogard.
<v Arnold Juliau>Dr. Abril he is still holding onto the instrument because he he <v Arnold Juliau>has the the the strongest grasp, and he <v Arnold Juliau>he, he. Try, try. <v Arnold Juliau>Firstly, he cannot do it. <v Arnold Juliau>Entonce after he take a short break, and he he <v Arnold Juliau>began to to to. <v Arnold Juliau>Push. Push up, push up, and he. <v Arnold Juliau>Relief release, release, out, out the <v Arnold Juliau>piece of knife. <v Lawrence Zelle>Boss Stapleton. <v Lawrence Zelle>Finally pulled the knife out. <v Arnold Juliau>Yes. <v John>Boss Step Hale. <v Sam Osborne>Stapleton. Hey Julio's testimony was pretty damning. <v Sam Osborne>You think Bogard's going to win? <v John>Well, that jury sure doesn't hurt his chances five blacks out of six
<v John>jurors. <v Sam Osborne>He does win it could really set some legal precedents, like making a superintendent <v Sam Osborne>responsible for what goes on in his prison. <v John>I can't see it. <v John>Lock a bunch of criminals up together and what do you expect? <v John>Sunday school picnic? <v Sam Osborne>Somebody's got to be responsible for what goes on up there. <v John>Prisons are violent places. <v John>No one can do anything about it. Not Cook, not Collier. <v Sam Osborne>Somebody's got to take responsibility. <v Judge Almer Smith>Ladies of the jury, the plaintiff has now rested and the defendants <v Judge Almer Smith>will begin introducing their testimony. <v Defense Attorney 1>Dr. Abril, the plaintiff, alleges or charges you <v Defense Attorney 1>with gross negligence and medical malpractice in not providing <v Defense Attorney 1>the plaintiff with immediate surgery. <v Defense Attorney 1>I would like to ask you whether or not, in your opinion,
<v Defense Attorney 1>the plaintiff should have been provided with immediate surgery. <v Dr. Hernando Abril>I don't think so. <v Dr. Hernando Abril>I don't think he needed <v Dr. Hernando Abril>immediately surgery. <v Dr. Hernando Abril>Because the spinal cord had been, <v Dr. Hernando Abril>as I said before, severed, since the beginning. <v Dr. Hernando Abril>I don't think that nobody could have <v Dr. Hernando Abril>done anything to repair that injury. <v Defense Attorney 1>Is there anything else that could have been done had immediate surgery been performed <v Defense Attorney 1>on Mr. Bogarde? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>No, sir.
<v David Lipman>Doctor, is it correct that between the time you were hired in October of 1970 <v David Lipman>until the time you obtained your institutional license in 1971, that the only <v David Lipman>Full-Time physician at Parchman was an unlicensed doctor and was a doctor who was not <v David Lipman>licensed to practice medicine in any State of the Union? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>Yes. <v David Lipman>How many inmates were at the Parchman institution when you first took the job? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>I don't know. <v Dr. Hernando Abril>Probably. One thousand eight hundred or <v Dr. Hernando Abril>something like that. <v David Lipman>And were you also responsible for giving medical aid to dependents of the guards and <v David Lipman>staff? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>The employees. Yes, sir. <v David Lipman>About how many of those were there? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>Guessing, I think it was five 500. <v David Lipman>So we're talking about a total possible population of about 2400 people? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>Right. <v David Lipman>For which there was one unlicensed physician, full time and <v David Lipman>two licensed practical nurses and one part-time physician. <v Dr. Hernando Abril>Two part-time physicians.
<v David Lipman>Two part-time physicians, is that all? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>Right. <v David Lipman>And no registered nurses? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>At the time, no. <v David Lipman>Physical therapists nor any other medical specialty? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>No. <v David Lipman>Do you know whether or not the hospital department has any accreditation as a hospital or <v David Lipman>a license? <v Dr. Hernando Abril>It was not accredited. <v Sam Osborne>Tom Cook, Parchmans superintendent, 1968, 1972. <v Defense Attorney 2>And what condition did you find the hospital in when you arrived? <v Tom Cook>It was run down in a bad state of repair. <v Tom Cook>Much of the equipment was worn out. <v Tom Cook>That was pretty much the state of the hospital as well as everything else. <v Defense Attorney 2>Mr. Cook, what did you find relative to the job of hiring a full-time doctor at State <v Defense Attorney 2>Penitentiary? <v Tom Cook>It was just about an impossible task to get a doctor to come to the state penitentiary. <v Tom Cook>We didn't have anything that would entice a doctor to come to the state prison to live.
<v Defense Attorney 2>And, Mr. Cook, I would like for you to describe the physical plant at the time you <v Defense Attorney 2>arrived at State Penitentiary. <v Tom Cook>Yes, sir. I found that I had some 15 units where the inmates were housed. <v Defense Attorney 2>Now, describe the condition that you found those quarters in. <v Tom Cook>The inmate housing, of course, was probably built in the early nineteen <v Tom Cook>hundreds. It was in a bad state of repair. <v Tom Cook>And I found in making an estimate that it would require a great sum of <v Tom Cook>money in order to bring the housing up to the desired standards that we needed <v Tom Cook>at Parchman for the inmates. <v Sam Osborne>Cook described improvements he instituted at Parchman. <v Sam Osborne>Despite his limited budget, these included gas stoves to replace <v Sam Osborne>the old wood burning stoves, hot water heaters, new mattresses and new bathroom <v Sam Osborne>facilities. <v Defense Attorney 2>Now, Mr. Cook, will you tell us something about how and where you obtained your funds to <v Defense Attorney 2>operate and run the state penitentiary? <v Tom Cook>All of the funds came through a budget, through the general legislature budget.
<v Defense Attorney 2>Could you tell us when you first went to the penitentiary what the budget was to operate <v Defense Attorney 2>the state penitentiary per year? <v Tom Cook>Less than two million a year. <v Defense Attorney 2>They've got a budget now of over eight million. <v Defense Attorney 2>Now, did you make any request to the legislature or the building commission for any funds <v Defense Attorney 2>to do anything with the physical plant at the state penitentiary? <v Tom Cook>Yes, I made requests for renovation and repair of all the camps. <v Defense Attorney 2>Were you successful in obtaining the necessary funds? <v Defense Attorney 2>No, I was not. No. All right, sir. <v Defense Attorney 2>Now, Mr. Cook, what really was the determining factor in what you could do <v Defense Attorney 2>in the way of physical facilities for the handling of the inmates and employees? <v Defense Attorney 2>What was the single determining factor along that line? <v Tom Cook>Money. <v Defense Attorney 2>And where did it have to come from? <v Tom Cook>The state. <v Lawrence Zelle>Now, Mr. Cook. <v Lawrence Zelle>We've heard you talk this morning about rehabilitation, not sending men <v Lawrence Zelle>out as men with dignity.
<v Lawrence Zelle>Isn't that right? <v Tom Cook>That's correct. <v Lawrence Zelle>That's what you were striving for. <v Tom Cook>That's correct. <v Lawrence Zelle>I believe in your line of defendent's exhibit number 137, you wrote, <v Lawrence Zelle>I'm quoting it, I'm paraphrasing it. <v Lawrence Zelle>"Each inmate is a person and is <v Lawrence Zelle>priceless in the sight of God." Is that correct? <v Tom Cook>That's right. <v Lawrence Zelle>You believe in it? <v Tom Cook>I do. <v Lawrence Zelle>Do you live by that philosophy? <v Tom Cook>I do my best to. <v Lawrence Zelle>Then I'm sure you can explain to me how you can rehabilitate a man by having him stand <v Lawrence Zelle>on a Coke case for 48 hours. <v Tom Cook>I didn't understand the question. <v Lawrence Zelle>I said, how can you rehabilitate a man when you have him stand <v Lawrence Zelle>on a Coke case for forty-eight hours? <v Tom Cook>I think that discipline is very important toward rehabilitation. <v Tom Cook>You have got to have discipline before you can have a man at all. <v Tom Cook>And if this would aid in his rehabilitation, I see nothing wrong with it.
<v Lawrence Zelle>Does the same thing apply to a man when he's chained to a fence? <v Lawrence Zelle>Is that a proper form of discipline? <v Lawrence Zelle>Does that add to the dignity of the human being under your care at Parchman, sir? <v Tom Cook>There were times when this was important. <v Tom Cook>It was not my policy to tie a man to a fence or to to hang men from <v Tom Cook>the fence. I never saw it happen, happened. But one time and at that time I put a stop to <v Tom Cook>it. When people were unruly, you had to do something to detain them. <v Tom Cook>I don't know what you're referring to. <v Lawrence Zelle>So it would be in violation of your sensibilities? <v Lawrence Zelle>Yes, it would. To chain a man to a fence for how long? <v Lawrence Zelle>One hour or two hours? <v Tom Cook>Well, two hours or an hour or three hours. <v Lawrence Zelle>How about taking a man to a bayou where there're lots of mosquitoes? <v Lawrence Zelle>A high mosquito population and leaving him there overnight, <v Lawrence Zelle>tired and handcuffed to a tree? <v Tom Cook>I don't recall that having been done, sir. <v Lawrence Zelle>You don't recall that having been done?
<v Lawrence Zelle>No. <v Sam Osborne>Champ Terni, co-counsel for the defendant. <v Champ Terni>State your name for the jury, please, Sir. <v John Allen Collier>John Allen Collier. <v Champ Terni>Have you had occasion to be employed by the Mississippi State Penitentiary? <v John Allen Collier>Yes, sir. I had on occasion to. <v Champ Terni>In what capacity? <v John Allen Collier>As superintendent. <v Champ Terni>When was that, Mr. Collier? <v John Allen Collier>Seventy-two. <v Sam Osborne>John Collier, like his predecessor, Tom Cook described the difficulties of <v Sam Osborne>running Parchman on its appropriated budget. <v Champ Terni>Did you make any changes in the physical facilities at these camps? <v John Allen Collier>Very limited. <v Champ Terni>Why was that? <v John Allen Collier>Because there was no money. <v Sam Osborne>Collier, even though he was superintendent for only 10 months, bore the financial brunt <v Sam Osborne>of the suit because Bogard was stabbed during his administration. <v Champ Terni>State your name for the record, please. <v Winston Moore>Winston Moore. <v Champ Terni>Where are you presently employed? <v Winston Moore>I'm executive director of the Cook County Department of Corrections. <v Champ Terni>Have you ever visited the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman? <v Winston Moore>Yes, I have. I was sent here by REAA and American <v Winston Moore>Correctional Association to look at Parchman.
<v Champ Terni>State whether or not a pattern of behavior of inmates for violence was also found <v Champ Terni>at the Mississippi State Penitentiary. <v Winston Moore>Yes, it was found there, but no more than any other penitentiary. <v Champ Terni>State whether or not there is an observable pattern as to possession of weapons by <v Champ Terni>inmates in prisons. <v Winston Moore>Yes, there is. Inmates have a tendency to get and to accumulate <v Winston Moore>and to hide and to make weapons ?before he knows? <v Winston Moore>Just about anything that can be used as a weapon. <v Winston Moore>They will use. <v Champ Terni>In your experience, what's the only way a prison administrator can guarantee complete <v Champ Terni>protection of an inmate? <v Winston Moore>The only way that a prison administrator can guarantee absolute safety of an <v Winston Moore>inmate, both from others and from himself, <v Winston Moore>is to more or less lock him into a cell for 24 hours a <v Winston Moore>day, stripped naked. <v Champ Terni>And what does this do to the inmates? <v Winston Moore>That will make them an animal. <v Champ Terni>Now, you testified under cross-examination that the committee you visited Parchman with <v Champ Terni>in 1972 found a lack of basic standards at the Mississippi
<v Champ Terni>State Penitentiary as far as physical facilities are concerned, I believe. <v Champ Terni>Now, what do you and your committee attribute this condition <v Champ Terni>to? <v Winston Moore>To neglect by the state of Mississippi. <v Winston Moore>That is what we attributed to the governor, the legislature and the people in Mississippi <v Winston Moore>who were trying to run the prison at a profit. <v Bailiff>Jurors I have your note in which you say you're ready to return the verdict. <v Sam Osborne>The jury found for the plaintiff, William Hardin Bogarde, and awarded him five hundred <v Sam Osborne>thousand dollars, the largest settlement ever made against Parchman officials. <v Sam Osborne>But one year later, in 1975, Judge Smith overturned the jury decision. <v Sam Osborne>The case is now in appeals and the Gates case goes on and on. <v Sam Osborne>Judge William Kaedy has continued to monitor Parchman to ensure that his 1972 order <v Sam Osborne>for improved conditions is implemented.
<v Sam Osborne>The Mississippi State Penitentiary is changing, Parchman is integrated. <v Sam Osborne>Inmates are now guarded by trained security guards. <v Sam Osborne>The new hospital will be completed in 1979 at the Parchman Vocational <v Sam Osborne>School. Inmates continue to learn various job skills. <v Sam Osborne>New housing is being constructed to ease overcrowding. <v Sam Osborne>Prison population has been reduced. <v Sam Osborne>Satellite prisons throughout the state also reduce overcrowding and allow <v Sam Osborne>inmates an opportunity to work at regular jobs as a transition step <v Sam Osborne>toward return to society. <v Sam Osborne>At the Pascagoula Restitution Center, selected inmates work a normal workday <v Sam Osborne>and return at night to supervised housing. <v Sam Osborne>The offender pays back the victim of his crime with the money he earns. <v Sam Osborne>The Mississippi legislature has appropriated funds for three additional centers. <v Sam Osborne>The 1978 legislature increased Parchman's appropriation to 16 million
<v Sam Osborne>dollars, and the legislature, evidencing its increasing concern with <v Sam Osborne>the state penitentiary, created the Department of Corrections, which for the <v Sam Osborne>first time put all aspects of adult corrections under one agency. <v Sam Osborne>The department sponsored a night in prison for reporters and legislators <v Sam Osborne>to give them some concept of prison life. <v Guards>All right. Alright, get up. <v Guards>Wake up. Get Out of there. Get up. <v Guards>Get up out the bed. Get that boy up fella. Come on, get over here. Be quiet. <v Prisoners>Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, <v Prisoners>ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow, ow. <v Guard 3>Be quiet! This <v Guard 3>is a shakedown. You people are gonna have to get up off of your knives. <v Guard 3>You're inmates and there's not gonna be in a knife in his camp.
<v Guard 3>You understand? <v Guard 3>You understand? <v Reporter>I don't even know what's going on! <v Guard 4>Get back up over there. You heard the man talk to you. <v Guard 4>What's wrong with you fella? You think you're on the outside? <v Sam Osborne>The reporters spent the night in one of the sub-standard camps, which are slowly being <v Sam Osborne>shut down to comply with Judge Cady's ruling. <v Sam Osborne>The next day, reporters visited new inmate housing first offenders <v Sam Osborne>camp, new women's camp, a new temporary unit's. <v Sam Osborne>And they talked with prisoners at the new medium-security unit where the inmates <v Sam Osborne>live in single cells rather than dormitories. <v Sam Osborne>Things any better? Do they seem to be getting better than, say, five years ago, <v Sam Osborne>three years ago? <v Richard Johnson>Not really. Things about the same. <v Richard Johnson>To tell the truth.
<v Reporter>What do you mean? You've got train guards. <v Reporter>New cells. <v Richard Johnson> We're still locked up ain't we? <v Reporter>Well, how do you expect huh? <v Sam Osborne>What about the guards? Do they treat you any better? <v Richard Johnson>Now, that depends on the man. <v Richard Johnson>Some of them pretty decent. <v Richard Johnson>Treat you like a man. <v Richard Johnson>Some of them try to take that from you. <v Richard Johnson>Make you lose your pride. <v Richard Johnson>You know, we still human beings, even if we are locked up. <v Richard Johnson>We still men. <v Sam Osborne>How much longer do you have? <v Richard Johnson>Well, supposed to be getting out on parole. <v Richard Johnson>Job is what you need to get out of this place. <v Sam Osborne>So here you are. <v Richard Johnson>Man the days are long in here. You know that? <v Reporter>What are you in here for? <v Richard Johnson>Burglary. <v Richard Johnson>You think you can help me get a job?
<v Richard Johnson>You know, I do a lot of writing. I write a lot of poetry since I've been here. <v Sam Osborne>I don't know. I don't do the hiring. <v Sam Osborne>I see. <v Richard Johnson>I need a job to get me out of this place. I've been in here a long time. And after a while, you <v Richard Johnson>kind of lose hope. Lose all hope. <v Sam Osborne>Over 98 percent of the people who go to prison eventually return <v Sam Osborne>to society. <v Sam Osborne>Society will have to deal with them again. <v Sam Osborne>Society will have to deal with the kind of people they became in <v Sam Osborne>prison.
The Parchman Trials
Producing Organization
Mississippi Educational Television
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Program Description
"The Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman has been, since the early 1970's, involved in federal court proceedings concerning the welfare of inmates and physical facilities at the institution. THE PARCHMAN TRIALS dramatizes actual events, depositions and trial testimonies concerning practices at the penitentiary, basing these dramatizations on court records. Several actual people (Parchman superintendents, other trial witnesses) are portrayed. Every statement attributed to them comes directly from official trial transcripts. The program also contains several fictional characters whose purpose is to link the historical events. Two reporters, one a hard-line law-and-order type, the other more liberal, demonstrate the widely divergent public opinions on prisons and inmates. Three fictional inmates give an inmate's point of view on the events and on prison life; the points of view expressed are based on interviews with inmates of the Mississippi State Penitentiary. After describing problems of the past the program indicates present-day improvements and continuing problems."--1978 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Director: Anderson, Les
Producer: Seymour, Michael M.
Producing Organization: Mississippi Educational Television
Speaker: Jones, Robert Earl
Writer: Cohen, Edward
AAPB Contributor Holdings
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
Identifier: cpb-aacip-057c0dc3697 (Filename)
Format: U-matic
Duration: 01:00:00
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Chicago: “The Parchman Trials,” 1978-08-08, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “The Parchman Trials.” 1978-08-08. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: The Parchman Trials. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from