Criminal Justice

Well-Known Lawyer, White Supremacist Was Murdered, Officials Say

A Mississippi lawyer known for his white supremacist views has been found, apparently murdered, in his Pearl home.

The body of Richard Barrett, 67, was found today, the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department tells the Clarion-Ledger. However, Sheriff Ronnie Pennington would not give details of his injuries prior to an autopsy.

A veteran of the Vietnam war who earned two Purple Hearts and the Vietnamese Commendation Medal, Barrett argued against civil rights laws and served on the campaign staff of then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace as he tried to win the 1968 presidential election, the newspaper recounts.

In 1982, he self-published The Commission, a book trumpeting his viewpoints. In it, he describes the “nausea” he felt when he heard of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, ending school segregation.

“Nature not men decreed that Negroes were different,” Barrett wrote in the book. “Those who mingled with colored were as much an aberration as the unwanted bluebird in the redbird’s nest and every bit as disruptive of natural and societal disorder.”

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