1975 August 7

Perjury Charges Against Morris Dees, Co-Founder of Southern Poverty Law Center, Dropped


Felony charges of attempted subornation of perjury against Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, were dropped on this day. The case occurred in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Joan Little, an African American woman, was on trial for killing a jail guard who she claimed attempted to rape her. The charges against Dees were related to his interest in joining the Little defense team. He withdrew that effort and the charged were dropped.

Joan Little was acquitted at trial, in what was the first-ever acquittal for using deadly force to resist a sexual assault.

Dees co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in 1971 as a civil rights law firm in Montgomery, Alabama.

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