Here I’ve been feeling guilty that Judge Biggers approved the Sun Herald’s request to release of letters written on behalf of the Scruggses and Backstrom. Had I not taken a break from today’s to-do list for a quick read-around, I would not have learned I wasn’t the only one – so here’s a h/t to NMC for the notice and the motion for reconsideration filed by Sid Backstrom. Followed, of course, by my opinion of it all.
Gulf Publishing, by motion of June 17, 2008, has requested that this Court provide it with access to unsolicited sentencing letters addressed to the Judge who will sentence Mr. Backstrom.
Before Mr. Backstrom could respond, the Court, on June 20, granted the motion.
Mr. Backstrom requests that the Court reconsider its ruling…
This Court should exercise its discretion to maintain the confidences and personal information revealed in the sentencing letters submitted on behalf of Mr. Backstrom. The Court should deny Gulf Publishing’s motion to obtain access to these letters.
Weighing the competing public and private interest involved is no simple task even with the extensive case history cited in Backstrom’s motion and an earlier order from Biggers limiting each to three character witnesses suggested the letters were of little, if any, interest to him. Consequently, it’s reasonable to think he saw no reason for denying the request.
Judge Biggers, we can now safely assume, does not blog.
Obviously, I do, and I see every reason to deny access to these letters to a public that has consistently ridiculed anything and everything about the defendants – and can be expected to do likewise to those who wrote to Judge Biggers on their behalf.
No one should be subjected to such and everyone who wrote a letter is at risk of becoming the next victim of caustic, if not cruel, comments made by a public with little or no regard for what it says about all of us or for the example it sets for our children.
Although Will Bardwell is now a man and about to shut down his college blog willbardwell.com, he is very much a child of Mississippi. I’d save this recent post of his intending to work the title into a salute from SLABBED; and, now suppose this will be it.
From The Department Of Superfluous Reporting
Jerry Mitchell’s story in today’s Clarion-Ledger about Zach Scruggs’ July 2 sentencing date is getting some attention at … for this line…
Hours after learning his sentencing date, Zach Scruggs was seen drinking a Grey Goose and tonic at City Grocery on the Oxford Square.
Can we make additional copies of this observation for filing under the heading of “Who Cares?” Can we also get word one way or the other on whether he prefers chips & salsa or fried mushrooms? Or perhaps of what detergent his undershirt smelled?
So said Bardwell
Yes, you did Will and you said it well, as usual, and in doing so let us see we are a shallow and shameless public not worthy of the trust Judge Biggers order implies – but you also give us great hope of a trustworthy Mississippi in our future; and, for that I thank you and wish you all the best as you take this next big step in life.