On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court announced its decision in the case of DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA V. HELLER. By a vote of 5 to 4, the court struck down a ban on guns as a violation of the Second Amendment. Still, the debate rages on. Does a private citizen still have the right to own a gun for self-defense of the home? Did the government have the right to restrict an entire class of weapons, either by levying taxes or banning them altogether? Tom Streissguth looks at all of the sides of this complex and controversial legal debate.
After Medgar Evers, a civil rights worker, was shot in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1963, a local white supremacist named Byron De La Beckwith was arrested for the crime. Two court cases ended in mistrials. But due to the efforts of Evers’s widow Myrlie and District Attorney Bobby DeLaughter, Beckwith was finally brought to justice more than thirty years after the murder. Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin describe the history of the crime, the legal concepts involved, and the movie made about the events, GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI.