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Alvin M. Binder; Lawyer Fought KKK

Alvin M. Binder, an attorney who helped solidify opposition to the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi and was a skilled criminal defense attorney, died Friday in Jackson, Miss.

His family said he was 63 and that he died of cardiac arrest complicated by diabetes.

Binder’s exploits have most recently been described by Los Angeles Times Washington bureau chief Jack Nelson in a new book, “Terror in the Night.” In it , Nelson describes how Binder responded to the bombing of synagogues and Jewish homes in Mississippi in the 1960s by raising money and helping the FBI find informants who would testify. The investigation culminated in the arrest of one Klan member and the death of another.

Binder, a native of Clarksdale, Miss., and a graduate of the University of Mississippi Law School, also was a veteran of criminal trials in 20 states . His cases included the defense of Wayne Williams, who was a suspect in nearly two dozen murders, mostly of children, in the 1980s in Atlanta, but was convicted only in the killings of two adults.

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