Read the Full '20/20' Transcript

(Reading from Jones' confession) We rode on down there in that forest, Claude Fuller claimed he had lost a shepherd dog and got Ben Chester White to go with us to hunt the dog.

ABC NEWS

(VO) We had an actor read excerpts from Jones' lost confessions, just as they were read into the record at his trial.

1ST OFFSCREEN VOICE

(Reading from Jones' confession) Fuller told me just as I got to the bridge to stop. That's the bridge where we killed him. He reached and got his rifle and throwed a shell in it, and then he opened the door where the old darky was sitting and said, 'All right, pop, get out!' When the darky seen him with that rifle, he said, 'Lord, what have I done to deserve this?' He just withered down in the back seat. The first shots were made by Fuller. He opened up that rifle and there was two bursts of it. Then Fuller told Ernest Avants, 'All right, now you shoot him.' And Avants shot him.

JT ROBINSON

It blew his brains and things, in the car, on Mr. Jones.

ABC NEWS

Y -- you mean Mr. White's brains splattered on Mr. Jones?

JT ROBINSON

Yeah, on Mr. Jones. Inside the car.

1ST OFFSCREEN VOICE

(Reading from Jones' confession) I got out of the car and helped them drag him out, and throwed him over the rail.

ABC NEWS

(VO) At the end of the week-long trial, a 12-man jury, nine white and three black, went behind closed doors to deliberate Jones' fate. But they were unable to reach a verdict.

(OC) It was a hung jury?

JT ROBINSON

That's right.

ABC NEWS

How is that possible?

JT ROBINSON

The Klansmen.

ABC NEWS

The Klansmen?

JT ROBINSON

On the -- on the -- on the jury.

ABC NEWS

(VO) We returned to that old building in Natchez and uncovered the jury list. We found seven had died. Of the survivors, four agreed to return to the courtroom to talk about the case. Among them there were no dissenters.

(OC) How many of you thought that James Lloyd Jones was guilty? Without any doubt?

RAY COLTER

Yes.

ABC NEWS

(VO) Alternate juror Ray Colter and the rest of this group shared suspicions about other members of the jury.

RAY COLTER

The remarks that -- that we heard, you know, in -- at lunch, dinner, back at the hotel, that I just got the feeling there were a couple of jurors that were not going to vote for him to be guilty.

ABC NEWS

But they had their minds made up before hearing the evidence?

RAY COLTER Yes.

ABC NEWS

Were these jurors white?

RAY COLTER

Yes.

ABC NEWS

In fact, they were determined not to find a white man guilty of killing a black man?

RAY COLTER

That was a feeling I had.

ABC NEWS

(VO) So if the Klan had a sinker in the jury room, who was it? The documents we recovered include the names of two other surviving jurors: Frank Nolan Dungan, who would not tell us how he voted, and John Dawson, who agreed to meet with our producer.

JOHN DAWSON

Come in.

PRODUCER

How you doing?

ABC NEWS

(VO) We used a home video camera to tape an interview in which Dawson confirmed he voted not guilty.

JOHN DAWSON

Only thing they ever proved to me was that that nigger was dead. That's all they ever proved to me, he -- he died, and he's dead. Who done it? Ain't never proved a…(censored by network).

ABC NEWS

(VO) But what about the confession?

JOHN DAWSON

Well, I never heard it if there was. Nobody ever -- never -- they never brought that out in no courtroom.

ABC NEWS

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