The Hissyspit journal at Democratic Underground has a detailed piece today about the Paul Minor and Don Siegelman cases and how they connect to my own story here at Legal Schnauzer.
In a sense, the DU story is about the modern Republican Party and its lack of regard for the rule of law. But perhaps the more important angle is this: the modern Republican Party and its utter lack of humanity.
The wife of Mississippi attorney Paul Minor has brain cancer, and her condition is reportedly deteriorating. Meanwhile, her husband is in a federal prison in Florida for crimes he clearly did not commit.
We feel confident in making that statement because we have written a series of 25 posts that show the Minor case was wrongly decided, thanks largely to the corrupt actions of federal judge Henry Wingate, a Reagan appointee. The Hissyspit piece references much of our work in the "Mississippi Churning" series. You can review the entire series here.
Paul Minor, and former Mississippi state judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield, are true political prisoners. Minor's clients received favorable rulings in cases before Teel and Whitfield because the law and facts were on their side. Teel and Whitfield ruled correctly under the law, and there is no evidence that their rulings were unlawfully influenced by the fact that Minor had guaranteed loans for their campaigns, which is legal under Mississippi law.
In short, Minor, Teel, and Whitfield all did their jobs. And for that, they wound up in federal prison.
By the way, Wes Teel's wife also has serious health problems. And Teel himself had a heart attack not long after reporting to federal prison in December 2007.
Under the circumstances, I think most caring people would have sympathy for the Minor defendants even if they were guilty of the charges against them. But given that all three defendants clearly were not guilty--that they were railroaded by a corrupt federal judge and a prosecutor who had seen his family business successfully sued by Paul Minor--it's stunning that the case has generated so little attention--or outrage.
Think about Paul Minor, Wes Teel, John Whitfield and their families the next time you hear a Republican talk about God and Christianity. Think about them the next time you hear a Republican say, "Character counts."
Yes, character does count. And the Paul Minor case speaks volumes about the true character of the modern Republican Party.