I wrote something along those lines long ago to describe Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan, a lady who has love in her heart for murderers and insurance companies that sometimes has a recusal problem. Overall she is a crappy judge because she evidently fails to understand that the concept of justice extends equally to civil torts and not to only matters involving someone’s liberty or in the case of certain murderers their very lives.
Naturally I chuckled when I saw NMC enrolled pro bono on behalf of murderer Robert Simon, winning him a stay of execution in the process. As a point of disclosure I revealed here on Slabbed a while back that I am generally against the death penalty citing the execution of the innocent as my biggest reason. But there are exceptions in generally and I cited confessed cold-blooded murderer Isaiah Doyle as one of them. I’m thinking Robert Simon Jr would be another. This from the Jackson Clarion Ledger story “Heinous crime still haunts community”:
For many people in this rural farming community, Feb. 2, 1990, will always be remembered as the day Quitman County was rocked with a crime of unspeakable horror – the cold-blooded murder of a well-known farm family.
Carl “Bubba” Parker, 58, wife Bobbie Jo, 45, and their two children, 9-year-old Charlotte Jo and 12-year-old Gregory, left a church service in Clarksdale around 9 p.m. to return to their home on Mississippi 322.
That was the last time anyone saw them alive. They were murdered in an apparent burglary gone awry – the bone-chilling details straight out of a horror film.
After shooting each of them multiple times, raping the little girl and chopping the father’s finger off to steal his wedding ring, the killers set the home on fire and left the bodies to burn.
The details are gruesome:
Firefighters pulled Bubba, Gregory and Charlotte Parker from the burning home that night. All were tied up and wounded.
Bobbie Jo Parker’s body was found in the morning, burned beyond recognition. She had been shot in the chest.
According to authorities, the killers raped and sodomized 9-year-old Charlotte in front of her father. Bubba Parker almost severed his own wrists struggling to break free from the extension cord tied around his hands.
Now this crime occurred in early 1990 and here we are some 21 years later and Simon’s execution was stayed because he bumped his head in January of this year.
Now we are all for the rule of law here at Slabbed and so for now we’ll take the 5th Circuit’s opinion for what it is and not get too uptight. Frankly several of comments on the Clarion Ledger story yesterday on this topic were ignorant, no doubt driven by outrage at Simon’s crimes. Simon is getting the needle IMHO, it is simply a question of when.
But that Clarion Ledger story did bring into sharper focus a little factoid that was very evident during NMC’s blogging on Scruggs at the old Folo blog in his relationship with fellow north Mississippi democrat Jim Hood, which NMC admitted himself was not good. The reason of course is the death penalty which Tom is very much against or as a former employee of the AGs office once told me, “when we were having a fry baby fry party, he was one of the ones outside Parchman protesting”.
For that reason I discounted much of the anti-Jim Hood rants that occurred during the height of Scruggs mania as bogus and politically driven. You saw further evidence of that when those memes were parrotted by right-wing columnists like Sid Salter (formerly of the Clarion Ledger) and the sold out boobs on the Wall Street Journal editorial page. To the extent hardline republican resources like Yall Politics teamed up with NMC on this topic meant we all saw a very unusual marriage of a liberal anti death penalty advocates and the far right of the GOP. And you see it today in what you don’t see on Yall these days, namely any coverage of the Simon stay despite the fact this type story represents red meat to the conservative faithful. Given that Mississippi’s only democrat elected statewide is Attorney General Hood this is obviously a bridge too far for Alan at Yall since Hood is the good guy in this story and besides, Alan much prefers ripping Daily Journal News Editor Patsy Brumfield for her straight reporting of the Zach Scruggs plea reversal hearing. Given that Alan Lange’s King of Torts was riddled with factual inaccuracies including now having to defend it in a defamation suit I find this whole situation pretty damn funny myself.
Now can those with political sense imagine what would happen if a prominent GOP lawyer did something like that to Phil Bryant on a blog? Maybe that is why the GOP has the other 7 statewide offices in Mississippi these days.
As always never a dull moment, even in the rural north Mississippi.