As one who myself has suffered what I believe to be wrongs at the hands of attorney Paul Minor, the news of the acquittals and non-convictions in the Mississippi judicial bribery trial (Aug. 12, Aug. 15) left me with a sad feeling that injustice has prevailed and that Pierre Proudhon was right when he wrote: "Laws: We know what they are, and what they are worth! They are spider webs for the rich and mighty, steel chains for the poor and weak, fishing nets in the hands of the government."
In a newspaper interview, juror Shirley Griffin confessed her bias against the government and that she had refused to consider the evidence, "All that stuff the government brought back there was trash, all them boxes full of papers." Griffin also defended her refusal to consider the government's case by saying she had made up her mind from the beginning that the defendants were not guilty, "From the first day, I could have taken that pad and wrote not guilty all the way down it." But Griffin took an oath to listen and consider the evidence and to rule without bias. She did not do that, which may have given reason for the other two jurors to refuse to honor their oath as well. If anyone wasted federal taxpayer dollars, it was Juror Griffin who should have never sat on this jury and Judge Wingate who should have removed or sanctioned any jurors who refused to honor their oath to uphold the law.
U. S. Attorney Dunn Lampton's claim that he was satisfied that the trial exposed corruption, even if it did not result in convictions, is not enough. The Justice Department must see that violators of federal laws are brought to account. I sincerely hope the department retries the remaining counts against Minor and Judges John Whitfield and Wes Teel. If it does not, every state justice system is at risk. -- Nancy Swan, Mobile, Ala.Posted by Walter Olson at August 22, 2005 10:55 PM