DOJ Gets Hate Crime Plea In Anderson. Could Zimmerman Be Next?

Three white men pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes charges in connection with the 2011 murder of James Craig Anderson.

Deryl Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Butler each admitted to conspiracy and violating the 2009 federal hate-crimes law. The each face sentences of up to life in prison and $250,000 fines.

Dedmon admitted in court that he and a group of white teens were drinking in Puckett, a small town outside Jackson, Mississippi when he suggested they find a black man to harass. The group then reportedly went to Jackson because of its majority black population. They found Anderson outside a hotel where he was beaten and then finally run over by Dedmon.

The prosecution represents a real victory for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and paves the way for a possibly similar charge for George Zimmerman in the murder of black teen Trayvon Martin. The Department of Justice has already begun investigations in the Martin murder. A successful prosecution of a high profile case under a new and untested criminal civil rights law is just the kind of momentum a prosecutor likes to have propelling them into another high profile investigation.

It’s worth remembering that the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice was created specifically because civil rights violations and racially-motivated murders were going unprosecuted. In some cases, like the Trayvon Martin case, local law enforcement was directly involved. This 2009 law gives some teeth back to civil rights enforcement and a time when the need couldn’t be greater.

Related Stories:

Wrongful Death Suit Filed In Mississippi Hate Crime

White Teens Murder Mississippi Man Because He’s Black

Photo from Tim Pearce, Los Gatos via flickr.


Barbara Z.
Barbara Z5 years ago

Murder is murder, no matter how you categorize it.

Lin Moy
Lin M5 years ago

Why wont they show recent pics? I'm sure there are a few.i agree Al and Jessie need to stay out of this but might be the way of getting something done after all.

Jessie Rodriguez
Susan Zitzler5 years ago

Mercedes l- in the first place, Zimmerman was doing his job to protect the neighborhood. Yes he went off a little to drastic, but we need to hear the facts and not have a bunch of loonie toons like Jessie Jackson and all the crap that he drags behind him come to that town and start making more problems and busing in his paid rioters and protestors. This does not solve the problem any faster and as it will be in all cases, justice will have its day. Like I have written above,in Chicago the blacks are slaughtering each other and I do not see Jessie Jackson and his fellow idiots doing anything about solving that problem. I guess it is okay for black to kill black. It also should be noted that this kid was no angel either, he was caught with drugs before and other situations he has had in his life does not make him and angel either. Zimmerman was doing his job, he just got a little carried away "unless" what he is telling is the truth. Let justice take its course and everyone get out of that town that does not belong there and stop making it a south side of Chicago war land.

Jessie Rodriguez
Susan Zitzler5 years ago

In Chicago it is nothing to hear if it is heard at all about deaths on the south side where most of the blacks live. It is not heard because it is black on black killing. 14 people in one day is one that just recently happened and one black kid got shot because he looked like something was wrong in the neighborhood where robberies were happening. I do agree shooting was not the answer, but the kid --note the picture they are showing of him is when he was 12 not 17 and he is considerably taller like 6 foot 3 inches now-- was walking away from Zimmerman instead of calling out "hi" or something like he was there visiting in the neighborhood. He could have tried to be friendly,instead he skulked away and looked like he was doing something wrong. Zimmerman did do wrong and should get unvoluntary manslaughter or something of that sort. There are blacks in the neighborhood living there, one is his long time friend too. It took a month for the blacks to organize and make this something more than what it is. Out to destroy lives, homes, the town-- what is wrong with the police here? tell these people to pack up and go home and stop interfering in police business. Take a look at Chicago (where all these paid by Jessie Jackson and Al Sharp unemployed for hire rioters that were bused in and to other places where there are problems) and they should go home and solve the problems in "their own neighborhoods" where blacks are killing blacks. Is that not worth doing something about? It a

Mercedes Lackey
Mercedes Lackey5 years ago

So, just clarify this for me:

Under the "Stand Your Ground" law, if I went on a walk in Zimmerman's neighborhood wearing a hoodie, and I saw him, could I shoot him first, based on the knowledge of his past history that he would probably try to kill me?

Just asking.

Mary L.
Mary L5 years ago

I hadn't heard about this hate crime. Thank you seems wrong but I appreciate the information.

Linda T.
Linda T5 years ago

When hate is taught, hate dominates civil society. We need look no further than ourselves to make thing better. Insist on justice for all, put an end to racial profiling, and teach our children to respect everyone no matter their color.

Bridget Nicole
Bridget Nicole5 years ago

takes 10minutes for 2 squad cars, and SUV unit (and another 5min) for a state patrol car to come and detain me for graffiti in the middle of the day. - It takes the cops how long to arrest zimmerman for a charge of murder...oh wait he still hasnt been even charged O_O

Marianne C.
Marianne C5 years ago

He has to be indicted first. And THAT is certainly taking its own sweet time.

John Mansky
John Mansky5 years ago

Thank you for the article...