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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Victim of Bush Justice Department Is Fighting Back in Mississippi

Neither Congress nor the Obama Justice Department seem inclined to hold anyone accountable for the apparent crimes of the George W. Bush administration. Perhaps the best hope for victims is to seek justice themselves in the civil arena. One victim in Mississippi is doing just that--and he recently won a major court victory.

A federal judge has ruled that former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz and his wife, Jennifer, can proceed with a lawsuit against former Bush prosecutor Dunn Lampton.

Oliver Diaz was tried and acquitted twice in connection with the Paul Minor case. Minor, a successful Gulf Coast trial attorney, and former state judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield currently are serving federal prison sentences after being convicted on corruption charges. We have written extensively about the Minor case and shown that the convictions were the result of unlawful jury instructions given by a Republican-appointed federal judge.

The Diazes charge that Lampton invaded their privacy by releasing confidential tax information to the Mississippi Judicial Performance Commission. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan ruled that Lampton is not protected by immunity in the case.

The Biloxi Sun-Herald reports on the immunity ruling:

“In the present case, (Dunn) Lampton provided the tax records to the commission after Diaz was acquitted,” Jordan wrote in his order. “The prosecution was over; the conduct was neither part of his prosecutorial function nor part of his role as an advocate.”

The full ruling can be read here:

Oliver Diaz Order

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