Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Spotlight on Mississippi

The Congressional investigation into the Bush Department of Justice (DOJ) so far appears to be focusing on federal prosecutions in Alabama, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. But another case in the Deep South, this one in Mississippi, might also require scrutiny.

Scott Horton, of Harper's, has an excellent post today about the Mississippi case of attorney Paul Minor and judges Oliver Diaz, John Whitfield, and Wes Teel.

Horton lays out the political backdrop to the prosecution, which wound up with convictions for Minor, Whitfield, and Teel. Diaz was acquitted twice, on corruption and tax-evasion charges.

Horton notes two key elements behind the case:

* It targeted key sources of funds for Democratic candidates in Mississippi.

* It helped lead to the election of Republican Haley Barbour as governor of the state.

The Minor case in Mississippi has been of great interest to us here at Legal Schnauzer. It has remarkable similarities to the Don Siegelman prosecution in Alabama. It strongly hints of a political prosecution, with Democratic-leaning defendants being pursued by Republican-led prosecutors. And it involves judicial corruption, a subject which goes to the core of our humble blog.

We will take a close look at the Minor case. But first, let's look at judicial corruption in general across the South.

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