Thursday, April 9, 2009

Will Paul Minor Receive an Emergency Release From Prison?

Is there any humanity left in our justice system?

Perhaps we will find out in a few days in the wake of a motion seeking emergency release of Mississippi attorney Paul Minor. The motion and an excellent update on the Minor case are available through a report at Huffington Post by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Brendan DeMelle.

Sylvia Minor, Paul's wife of 41 years, is dying of brain cancer. The motion before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals asks for Paul Minor's release so that he can be with his wife in her final days.

Minor is serving an 11-year sentence on bribery charges that were trumped up by the Bush Justice Department. He and two codefendants, former state judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield, were convicted only because of outrageous and unlawful rulings by U.S. Judge Henry Wingate (a Ronald Reagan appointee).

Here is one of many posts we have written about prosecutorial and judicial corruption in the Minor case.

For the moment, though, the Minor case is not about facts and the law; it is about humanity, which seems to be lacking in our justice system. Kennedy and DeMelle write:

Minor's wife of 41 years, Sylvia, is dying of terminal brain cancer and her moments of clarity are dwindling. Her oncologist issued a statement over the weekend at the request of her family noting that Mrs. Minor's "demise is imminent.... Mrs. Minor requests the presence of her husband during this last part of her life... it is urgent that this occur immediately due to her rapidly deteriorating condition."

Minor, however, does have the facts and law on his side:

Minor is legally entitled to release on bail from the Pensacola Federal Prison Camp where he has spent the last two-and-a-half years. His attorneys have successfully raised "substantial questions" about Minor's conviction, the key legal test which requires the defendant's release on bond pending the outcome of an appeal. The tough questions asked of the DOJ attorney by the panel of judges hearing Minor's appeal last week make clear the fact that these judges appear to have their own "substantial questions" about the Justice Department's prosecution of Mr. Minor for bribery.

Kennedy and DeMelle draw solid parallels between the Minor situation and the Don Siegelman case in Alabama:

In March of last year, the 11th Circuit on virtually identical issues found that former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, another Rove victim, had established substantial questions about the correctness of his prosecution and was therefore entitled to release pending appeal. Given this decision, it would raise grave suspicions if the 5th Circuit now denied the release of Paul Minor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"... The fact that Attorney General Eric Holder dropped the charges against Senator Stevens and held a hard line against corrupt and deceitful attorneys in this case should not be so unique. It is sad to me that in these times, such justice seems to be more uncommon than the norm.

Why it is so troubling -- in fact, is an outrage -- is that someone of former Governor of Alabama, Don Siegelman's character and integrity should have to suffer at the hands of corrupt and mal-intentioned, politically-motivated miscreants. There are so many glaring problematic issues regarding this case against Don Siegelman that, as an American citizen looking at it all, gives one serious pause to ever trust our legal system. It appears the law and rule of law have become a tool for some elite "club mentality" to maintain wealth, status and status quo rather than defending (protecting) innocents from the the issuance of corrupt practices, greed, perverse intent, character defamation, fraud, extortion and even imprisonment imposed by irresponsible "professionals." Perhaps it is time for these corrupt practitioners of the law to ask themselves what exactly it is that they are professional at. And where is the integrity??

Fairness on the part of an honorable man such as Don Siegelman is long overdue. He is owed a tremendous serving of remuneration and apology for the suffering he and his family have endured -- just because he was "in the way" of a determined campaign that was able to influence attorneys willing to withhold evidence and subvert justice for the sake of winning!

With the passing of one corrupt administration and all its shills as exemplified by the abject and deceiptful ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, -- and with the refreshing presence of Honorable Eric Holder, perhaps now the integrity of law and the rule of law can be restored. And with its restoration, perhaps the meaning of the word justice -- rather than meaning "just us" will restore the true meaning of the word "justice" to provide "fairness."

Respectfully Submitted,

Charlie White

Artist, Journalist, Healer


Adam Cohen, Editorial Page Editor of the New York Times

Fred Hiatt, Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Post

Bruce Dold, Editorial Page Editor of the Chicago Tribune

Cynthia Tucker, Editorial Page Editor for the Atlanta Journal Constitutional

Don Siegelman

I post this for my friend, Charlie White, since her passion is such that she writes to speak 'truth to power.'

With leaving this here on your blog, Mr. Schnauzer, I PRAY that the power of all powers brings Mr. and Mrs. Minor together in this time AND, which no man can ever separate again!

Biloxi Marx