MISSISSIPPI: Shooter's Chance

Under Mississippi's earthy and antiquated penal system, the tougher and more ruthless a convict is, the better off he is. At the 16,000-acre Parchman Prison Farm such bad actors are used as "shooter trusties," equipped with rifles and vertical stripes, and set to guarding their lesser, not so enterprising, fellows. Loyalty (i.e., shooting an escaping convict) is often rewarded with freedom.

In 13 years of crime—which included grand larceny, cattle stealing and blasting an old man with a shotgun and then drowning him in the Mississippi—hefty, hardfisted, 33-year-old Clarence B. ("Hogjaw")...

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