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Gov. Barnett Guilty of Civil Contempt of Federal Court Order

Sept. 28, 1962 - Governor Ross R. Barnett (pictured) of Mississippi was found guilty today of civil contempt of Federal court orders against interfering with the desegregation of the University of Mississippi. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ordered the Governor to purge himself of the contempt by 11 a.m. Tuesday or face arrest and a fine of $10,000 a day. The fine took effect with the court’s decision at 5 p.m. today. No money will be collected, however, if Governor Barnett complies with the court order. The court said further that unless he purged himself, he “shall be committed to and remain in the custody of the Attorney General of the United States.” Mr. Barnett, who has eluded service of court papers, did not appear for the hearing, nor was he represented by counsel. Reached at his office in Jackson, Miss., he stated that he had no comment on the court’s action.

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