Latest on the money-for-judges scandal detailed here Aug. 7: “Biloxi attorney Paul Minor says friends are showing up to support him during a judicial bribery trial, but prosecutors think the defense team is manipulating the jury. …During the trial, defendants have stressed their empathy and support for ‘the little guy’ and minority causes.” The jury forewoman revealed in her questionnaire that she had handed out fliers for former U.S. Rep. Wayne Dowdy, and none other than Rep. Dowdy in person dropped by to sit behind the defense table on Monday, as did Rep. Bennie Thompson.
Questionnaires also revealed that the jury is highly religious, and the Rev. Joe Doss, who is at once a lawyer, a friend of the Minor family and a retired bishop, sits with the family in a clerical collar and bishop’s purple shirt; the Rev. Doss concedes he’s looked at the jury questionnaires, “but that’s not why I’m here”. “[Defense attorney] Michael Crosby, who represents [former circuit judge John] Whitfield, quoted from the Bible in closing arguments. Crosby also managed to work in a biblical phrase one juror included on her questionnaire: ‘I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence my help cometh.'” Doesn’t Americans United for Separation of Church and State ever worry about this sort of thing? (Anita Lee, Biloxi Sun-Herald, Aug. 10).