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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mainstream Media Does A Dismal Job Of Reporting On Profound Issues Raised By Paul Minor Appeal

Albert Alschuler

Whenever Alabama winds up near the bottom in a national quality-of-life ranking--and it happens a lot--our citizens tend to exhale and exclaim, "Whew, thank God for Mississippi!"

There's a good reason for that: If Alabama ranks No. 49 in an issue involving, say, health status, education, or justice, you can bet that Mississippi probably ranks No. 50.

I recently discovered a new reason to say, "Thank God for Mississippi!" It didn't seem possible that the mainstream media (MSM) in any state could be worse than ours here in Alabama. But based on last weeks' coverage of the latest appeal in the Paul Minor case, Mississippi appears to "have us beat."

Albert Alschuler, a national expert on legal issues connected to honest-services fraud, filed a brief on December 31 with the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking review of the Minor case in light of the high court's 2010 ruling in a case involving former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling.

The court found in Skilling v. United States, 130 S. Ct. 2896 (2010) that the federal honest-services statutes reach only cases of alleged bribery and kickbacks. Skilling was decided after Minor's original petition for certiorari review had been filed. As such, Alschuler argues, it represents "an intervening change in law" that merits review under Supreme Court Rule 10(a).

Paul Minor, one of the most successful plaintiffs' attorneys in Mississippi history, was convicted on Bush-era corruption charges, along with former state judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield. Minor and Whitfield remain in federal prison, while Teel was released last year after completing his sentence.

The Minor case was one of the most high-profile federal prosecutions in Mississippi over the past decade. And it raises critical issues about the U.S. election process, including the First Amendment right to financially support the candidates of our choice. But you would never know that from last week's coverage about the Minor appeal in the Mississippi MSM.

First, a reasonable person might expect that Mississippi newspapers would consider the Minor case important enough to assign staff reporters to the latest story. That would seem especially true in Biloxi, where Minor live and worked, and in Jackson, where the trial was conducted. But our research indicates both the Biloxi Sun Herald and the Jackson Clarion-Ledger used a wire report provided by Associated Press.

A reporter named Jack Elliott Jr. wrote the Associated Press story out of Jackson, and he did not distinguish himself with this effort. Perhaps Elliott has done fine work on other stories, and in his defense, news about the Minor appeal was released on December 31--and that means the AP bureau probably had a skeleton crew working on New Year's Eve. Whatever caused it, Elliott's story was a sorry piece of journalism that did almost nothing to help readers understand a case that has national implications.

The incompetence at the Biloxi newspaper started right off the bat, with a headline that read "Minor Appeals Miss. Sentence to US Supreme Court." (The AP writer, by the way, almost certainly did not write that headline; it probably was written by someone on the newspaper's copy desk.) How many ways does that title get it wrong? First, it was a federal sentence, not a state sentence under Mississippi law. More importantly, Minor's brief makes it clear that he is not just appealing his sentence; he is seeking to have his convictions overturned on all counts. (The full brief can be viewed at the end of this post.)

The brief states throughout that the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals holdings on the case merit "summary reversal." That means, according to Minor's counsel, the convictions are unlawful and are due to be overturned. Here is a reference from page 4 of the brief:

Skilling's holding was clear: The law of honest-services fraud does not vary from state to state. The Fifth Circuit's disregard of this holding warrants summary reversal.

Inexplicably, the AP story makes no mention of the ruling in Skilling. The first sentence in the "Statement of the Case" found in Minor's brief states that the appeal is based primarily on a change in the law on honest-services fraud, brought about Skilling.

It's the crux of the entire appeal. Failing to address that is like writing on World War II without mentioning Adolph Hitler. In fact, we see no signs that the AP reporter even looked at the latest Minor brief. His report makes multiple references to "Minor has argued . . ." or "Minor said . . ."; those are apparent references to issues raised in earlier court documents.

It appears Elliott based his story on clips that are several years old and do not address the issues that Alschuler now has placed squarely before the nation's highest court.

Alschuler spends considerable time in his brief on the most important issue in the Minor case--flawed jury instructions. Minor's counsel shows how U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate repeatedly butchered jury instructions in the trial court. And Alschuler lays out tortured arguments on the issue before the Fifth Circuit that are downright comical.

The take-home point is this: Jury instructions in the Minor case were hopelessly wrong before the Skilling ruling was issued; they are even more off target in the post-Skilling environment.

That means the Minor defendants were convicted of "crimes" that do not exist under actual law. It means their convictions are due to be overturned across the board, even without taking Skilling into consideration.

You might think it is important for the public to understand issues that caused three citizens to be imprisoned because of convictions that are not even close to being lawful. You might think the mainstream press in Mississippi would take seriously its obligation to educate readers on matters that go straight to constitutional protections.

But based on Associated Press coverage of the Paul Minor appeal--and the sorry efforts of other reporters and editors in Mississippi--you would be wrong.

Paul Minor-SCOTUS Petition2

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

The "real news" has reported and holds forensic evidence to support the story: CIA.

The CIA has news in its back pocket, and this truth is not to be doubted.

CIA also has its own Hollywood footprint, and it is BIG, to film the Americans' imaginations into the world we live.

Whenever a story is exactly as the wrong reporting proves, CIA.

Another great reporter is dead for telling the truth, you know about Gary Webb's "real news."

It is by design to fill our hearts and minds with the lies that the CIA is paid very handsomely to do, and this entity has grown BIGGER in these times to destroy the other news, the Legal Schnauzer geniuses' "real news!"

I think the time is neigh to visit Biloxi. Thank you Legal Schnauzer for pointing at the direction where the hunt can be.

Biloxi Marx

Anonymous said...

"... By virtue of its strategy, the Company is the leading local media company in its premium growth markets. The Company has a century and a half of experience in mass and targeted media, with its origins in the California Gold Rush era of 1857. Originally incorporated in California as McClatchy Newspapers, Inc., the Company’s three original California newspapers—The Sacramento Bee, The Fresno Bee and The Modesto Bee—were the core of the Company until 1979 when the Company began to diversify geographically outside of California. At that time, it purchased two newspapers in the Northwest, the Anchorage Daily News and the Tri-City Herald in Southeastern Washington. In 1986, the Company purchased The (Tacoma) News Tribune and in 1987, the Company reincorporated in Delaware. The Company expanded into the Carolinas when it purchased newspapers in South Carolina in 1990 and The News and Observer Publishing Company in North Carolina in 1995. In 1998, the Company expanded into Minnesota with the acquisition of The Star Tribune Company and the combined company became The McClatchy Company.

.. On June 27, 2006, the Company acquired Knight-Ridder, Inc. (the Acquisition). Of the 32 daily newspapers acquired in the Acquisition, the Company subsequently sold 12 of the daily newspapers, retaining 20 daily papers in strong markets and significant digital assets. On March 5, 2007, the Company sold the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune newspaper and other publications and websites related to the newspaper. Accordingly, the Star Tribune’s results are not included in any of the Company’s discussions of continuing operations in this Report.

.. The Company is the third largest newspaper publisher by circulation in the United States, with 30 daily newspapers, 43 non-dailies and direct marketing and direct mail operations located in 29 markets across the country. The Company’s newspapers range from large dailies serving metropolitan areas to non-daily newspapers serving small communities. For the fiscal year 2009, the Company had an average paid daily circulation of 2,298,635 and Sunday circulation of 2,946,400. McClatchy also operates local websites in each of ...

..Table of Contents...

..its markets which complement its newspapers and extend its audience reach. Average monthly unique visitors, a measurement of usage of the Company’s websites, totaled 34.5 million. McClatchy-owned newspapers include, among others, The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Kansas City Star, The Charlotte Observer, and The (Raleigh) News & Observer.

.. McClatchy also has a portfolio of premium digital assets. In addition to its local websites, which offer users information, comprehensive news, advertising, e-commerce and other services, McClatchy owns 14.4% of CareerBuilder, the nation’s largest online job site; 25.6% of Classified Ventures, a newspaper industry partnership that offers two of the nation’s premier classified websites: the auto website, cars.com, and the rental site, Apartments.com, and 33.3% of HomeFinder, LLC which operates the real estate website HomeFinder.com.

McClatchy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.

Read more: http://www.faqs.org/sec-filings/100303/MCCLATCHY-CO_10-K/#ixzz2Ha0v5TWz

Anonymous said...

LS, the bad are known and the good are too because our "mainstream news" says so:

Bad = those who are telling the truth about the U.S. of A. and how REALITY IS, and then,

Good = the criminally insane that are doing the best that can be to destroy our "freedoms" ~

"... Lind is scheduled to rule on these motions during a hearing January 16-17. Manning’s full court martial trial, which was slated for March 6, has been pushed back until June 3. By that time, he will have been held for nearly 1,100 days without being convicted of a crime.

.. Citing a Civil War-era espionage case Tuesday, Captain Angel Overgaard, a government lawyer, insisted that military courts have recognized that “publishing information in a newspaper” can “indirectly convey information to the enemy,” thereby aiding the latter.

.. Coombs countered by pointing out that the case in question involved coded information disguised as an advertisement, not providing information openly to the press. “There’s been no case in the entire history of military jurisprudence that dealt with somebody providing information to a legitimate journalistic organization and having them publish it and that involved dealing with the enemy,” Coombs said.

.. It is worth noting that in the government-cited case, Union Private Henry Vanderwater, found guilty of aiding the enemy by providing a command roster that was published, was sentenced to only three months’ hard labor and dishonorable discharge. Manning, by contrast, has already been imprisoned for three years and may spend the rest of his life behind bars.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-army-prosecutor-to-present-evidence-that-al-qaeda-including-bin-laden-benefited-from-bradley-manning-leaking/5318356

Anonymous said...

Each grain of wheat contains about one microgram of Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA). Even in small quantities, WGA can have profoundly adverse effects. It may be pro-inflammatory, immunotoxic, cardiotoxic … and neurotoxic.

ROLLINS AND POISONS?

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2013/01/09/why-80-percent-of-people-worldwide-will-soon-stop-eating-wheat/

VERY IMPORTANT INFO FOR LS FAMILY AND ALL LS READERS

legalschnauzer said...

I accidentally deleted an Anonymous comment re: the Biloxi media. Here it is:

"... That same year the newspaper was became part of the Knight Ridder newspaper family, as part of Knight Ridder’s purchase of the State Record Company of Columbia, SC, which had previously purchased the Daily Herald from the Wilkes family in 1968. With McClatchy Newspaper’s purchase of Knight Ridder in 2006, the Sun Herald and its print and online readers became part of the McClatchy multi-media family.

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/about-us/#navlinks=mi_footer#storylink=cpy

KEY EXECUTIVES

Glen Nardi, President and Publisher

Stan Tiner, Vice President and Executive Editor

Flora Point, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Wanda Howell, Human Resources and Circulation Director

Shannon Oberlies, Advertising Director

John McFarland, Marketing and Interactive Director

View Personnel Directory

General Hiring Contact: Human Resources Generalist Judy Lee at 228-896-2342 or e-mail

jlee@sunherald.com

Human Resources Director Wanda Howell at 228-896-2341 or

whowell@sunherald.com

Market: The Mississippi Coast market includes two MSA’s (Gulfport-Biloxi MSA and the Pascagoula, MS MSA) and the Biloxi-Gulfport DMA. The six-county region includes 460,000 people in 15 incorporated cities and more than 25 census designated places. The area is known for its seafood, shipbuilding and tourism. Mississippi is the nation’s third largest gaming market and the Mississippi Coast is home to 11 major casino resort properties. It is also home to Keesler Air Force Base, the electronic and cyberwarfare training center of the U.S. Air Force and the headquarters of the famed “Hurricane Hunters;” the US Naval Construction Battalion Center, home to the Altantic Seabees; NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center; and several other major federal facilities.

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/about-us/#navlinks=mi_footer#storylink=cpy

OKIE DOKIE MISSISSIPPI:

"... home to Keesler Air Force Base, the electronic and cyberwarfare training center of the U.S. Air Force and the headquarters of the famed “Hurricane Hunters;” the US Naval Construction Battalion Center ...."

GET THE PICTURE?

POLICE STATE USA IS NOT ABOUT THE INDEPENDENT NEWS, LS, SO YOU HAVE NOW AGAIN TREAD ON THE TIGER'S TAIL WHILE PULLING ITS' WHISKERS!!

God thanks the universe for birthing you to write for the southern enlightenment.

see next post, too

Anonymous said...

Makes me think the MSM in Mississippi has been bought off by the same right-wing forces that have come to control the press here in Alabama.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy this sort of media criticism. Thought provoking, to be sure. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Bush used his buddies at Enron as a protective sheild so that he would not look as though to descriminate once he lowered the boom on the rest of the national legal establishment. It would be a long cold day before Minor got the same treatment as so called friends did. That's the least he could do for Skilling considering he destroyed the lives of Enron execs while ushering in NWO. I'm no sympathizer mind you.

Redeye said...

“The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Malcolm X

jeffrey spruill said...

Mr. Schnauzer:

A wire report is just regurgitated bull s... right?

*

Nobody wanted to report the TRUE STORY of the U.S. Attorneys firing-- Thursday-December 7,2006 either.

When I asked David W. Bouchard how much the FBI paid him to do their dirty work--I now know what the Greeks meant by "killing the messenger."

*

Dear Mr. Spruill:

It is imperative that I speak with you directly in order to prepare your defense for trial, now scheduled for December 1,2006.I would encourage you to reconsider your position in this matter and allow me to speak with you as soon as possible.

With best regards, I am
Terence P. Martin
Asst. Public Defender

Notice the Friday--December 1,2006 date on this article:

http://hamptonroads.com/node/189481

Anonymous said...

CNN = Ted Turner = donated 1 bil to UN and thus founded UN Foundation = Rothchild on that board.........
follow the guidestones for the remainder

Here's a hint! They want to kill US citizens

Anonymous said...

By definition, a newspaper reporter or editor should at least be curious about what is going on around him or her. I see no sign that the MSM in Mississippi is curious about the Minor case at this point. Is that laziness, incompetence? Beats me.

Anonymous said...

NEW BLOG WITH THE LINE UP AS VERY INTERESTING, just getting started and shall certainly make certain LS is always a primary connect.

www.theartof12.blogspot.com

Larry J. Jackson, Sr.

INTRODUCTION ~ I am insulted. I am in fact bitter. Sorrowfully bitter. What I, "We People" [W P] are facing: what the greatness that this country was about - it is a travesty.

The farce that W P majority allow a few to get away with is an unmitigated effrontery, these few have completely obliterated a judicial system designed to protect citizens' rights,' our dignity as human beings here in this time. There is no venue, the courts are not the venue to adjudicate matters of conflict, and the courts do not settle matters of contract.

As a matter of standard operating practice authorities are cavalier, as though we are experiencing the English Civil War again and it is this backwards uncivilized barbarism that has somehow found our court system and become a stain on our justices' inhumanity.

Make believe. The situation became a made up unreality, "Diesel Therapy."

Honorable Owen M. Panner, I joined in a court filing: 11 OCT 14 11:07USDC-ORM, and there was and is a problem with the courts, as my Introduction addresses.

Anonymous said...

The people in charge of deciding for America and with the unlimited digital dust, do not have the best intentions for our future:

CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE [COE], by Sancho Jones

From Kindergarten to University: Homeland Security Culture in America

In early March of 2009, The Department of Homeland Security, held it’s annual National Fusion Center Conference [1]. The conference highlighted the necessity for Fusion Centers to achieve Baseline Capabilities in the sharing of information and intelligence with the federal government and each other.

At the end of the same month the DHS gave a press release [2] to announce their selection of Purdue, and Rutgers Universities to co-lead the newest Center of Excellence (COE),By Global Research News, Global Research, January 12, 2013, shtf411.com 14 October 2009

These universities, and their disseminated information are not just a national problem for Americans, but the entire world. They are creating educational programs from kindergarten, and they are partnered with several foreign countries. It’s seemingly more, and more a 1984 Orwellian hell of reality, that Americans are being made into a “new breed”; now with the words of Patrick Henry:

“Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

Forbid it, Almighty God!

I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

Centers of Excellence were created through the Homeland Security Act of 2002; the first centers began operation in 2004. With the addition of the newest one above, there are a total of 12 Centers across the country. The total number of these centers is skewed; as each center is in collaboration with multiple universities; as well as being partners with local, state, federal, and international entities. These COE’s also work with national laboratories, and corporate partners such as the RAND corporation to offer viable real world applications. In the end, there aren’t 12 centers, but a web of several hundred, and possibly thousands of centers.

The official list[3] of 12 centers are overseen by the Orwellian “Office of University Programs” [4]. The “Strategic Objectives” of this office are quoted as follows:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/from-kindergarten-to-university-homeland-security-culture-in-america/5318271

Anonymous said...

"... U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz in Boston could not be reached for comment. She previously has said that "stealing is stealing, whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars," The New York Times reported Saturday.

.. Preceding the Massachusetts' case, Swartz aided Malamud in his effort to post federal court documents for free online, rather than the few cents per page that the government charges through its electronic archive, PACER. Swartz wrote a program in 2008 to legally download the files using free access via public libraries, according to The New York Times. About 20 percent of all the court papers were made available until the government shut down the library access.

.. The FBI investigated but did not charge Swartz, he wrote on his own website.

.. Three years later, Swartz was arrested in Boston. The federal government accused Swartz of using the Massachusetts Institute Technology's computer network to steal nearly 5 million academic articles. The indictment alleged Swartz stole the documents from JSTOR, a subscription service used by MIT that offers digitized copies of articles from more than 1,000 academic journals.

.. Prosecutors said Swartz hacked into MIT's system in November of 2010 after breaking into a computer wiring closet on campus. Prosecutors said he intended to distribute the articles on file-sharing websites.

.. JSTOR did not press charges once it reclaimed the articles from Swartz, and some legal experts considered the case unfounded, saying that MIT allows guests access to the articles and Swartz, a fellow at Harvard's Safra Center for Ethics, was a guest.

.. Experts puzzled over the arrest and argued that the result of the actions Swartz was accused of was the same as his PACER program: more information publicly available.

http://news.yahoo.com/online-activist-programmer-swartz-dies-ny-193915205.html

jeffrey spruill said...

In the middle of the US Attorneys firings- Karl Rove raps & dances with David Gregory.

Classy. VERY Classy. That's what this country has for investigative reporting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=KdvHwtRdg_I