From 2003 to 2009 sensational judicial bribery scandals rocked
Mississippi's legal system. Famed trial lawyers Paul Minor and
Richard (Dickie) Scruggs and renowned judge and former prosecutor
Bobby DeLaughter proved to be the nexus of these scandals. Seven
attorneys and a former state auditor were alleged to have attempted
to bribe or to have actually bribed five state judges to rule in
favor of Minor and Scruggs in several lawsuits. This is the story
of how federal authorities, following up on information provided by
a bank examiner and a judge who could not be bribed, toppled Minor,
Scruggs, and their enablers in what was exposed as the most
significant legal scandal of twenty-first-century Mississippi.
James R. Crockett details the convoluted schemes that eventually
put three of the judges, six of the attorneys, and the former
auditor in federal prison. All of the men involved were successful
professionals and three of them, Minor, Scruggs, and fellow
attorney Joey Langston, were exceptionally wealthy. The stories
involve power, greed, but most of all hubris. The culprits
rationalized abominable choices and illicit actions to influence
judicial decisions. The crimes came to light in those six years,
but some crimes were committed before that. These men put
themselves above the law and produced the perfect storm of bribery
that ended in disgrace.
The tales Crockett relates about these scandals and the actions
of Paul Minor and Richard Scruggs are almost unbelievable.
Individuals willingly became their minions in power plays designed
to distort the very rule of law that most of them had sworn to
Subjects: Political Science, History
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