just in case hell really does freeze over – a mention of USA v Minor, Van Heerden v LSU and a strange Louisiana ruling in Katrina litigation

Some thought hell would have to freeze over for the Who Dat’s to win a Super Bowl – but they did and, lo and behold, snow may cover what looked like the gates to hell after Katrina.

Just in case hell really does freeze over.  USA v Minor co-defendant,  John Whitfield filed a Motion for Release Pending Resentencing and Appeal the very day SLABBED reported the Government’s opposition to the requested release of Minor co-defendant former Coast judge Wes Teel.

Both co-defendants are requesting release on the same general basis – the 5th Circuit’s recent decision reversing part of their bribery convictions and the pending USSC decision on the constitutionality of the honest services statute, the likely-to-be-tossed basis for the remaining portions of their sentences.

The news of the day, so to speak, is Paul Minor is the only defendant that has not filed a motion for release pending appeal with Judge Wingate.  In light of these apparently very significant developments, why not?  Minor has hasn’t hesitated to file for a lawful get out of jail free card in the past.  If his case is as strong as he keeps saying it is, why does he appear fearful now?

Could Minor’s behavior be another indication that hell may indeed freeze over?

Over at the Ladder, Editilla’s update on Ivor van Heerden’s wrongful dismissal lawsuit included the story appearing in the NYT.  A recently posted update to the update calls van Heerden’s case a whistleblower lawsuit! Continue reading “just in case hell really does freeze over – a mention of USA v Minor, Van Heerden v LSU and a strange Louisiana ruling in Katrina litigation”

Attorneys for Minor co-defendant John Whitfield write Attorney General Holder

We tell this to go beyond our lawyer’s talk of Brady violations and honest services statutes and quidpro quo and to put a human face on the victims of the corruption of the Department of Justice and the Public Integrity Section under the previous administration— to put a human face on this victim of a baseless, legally void political prosecution.

Whitfield Appeal provides timely review of law re: judicial bribery, USA v Minor, a late July SLABBED post, reported Mr. Whitfield’s Appeal to the 5th Circuit.  One man’s convicted felon is another’s father, son followed in early August.

Some roll their eyes at the mention of a politically motivated prosecution of Whitfield, Minor and Teel.  Others are more adamant in their believe politics was not involved. Drew Martin and David McCarty, Mr. Whitfield’s new counsel, took the issue head-on in their recent letter to Attorney General Holder

Mr. Lampton actually said to Mr. Whitfield and his previous counsel before the first
indictment was returned, “[y]ou wouldn’t be a target of this investigation if it wasn’t for your politics.” This statement, combined with the curious removal of Mr. Lampton’s name from the second list of U.S. Attorneys slated for firing by the Bush Justice Department, raise serious questions as to the propriety of Mr. Whitfield’s prosecution from its inception.

I’m uncertain how long Mr. Whitfield was without counsel; however, his current attorneys point out he filed his first Appeal with the Fifth pro se over a year ago. Continue reading “Attorneys for Minor co-defendant John Whitfield write Attorney General Holder”

One man’s convicted felon is another’s father, son

Nowdy, those other blogs are eating your lunch on the Delaughter story.

Maybe so, concerned reader, but I was lost in other thoughts; and, frankly, just not hungry.

Some years ago, I was the guest speaker for a Mother’s Day luncheon held at what was then called the “women’s prison” – a mother talking with other mothers about our shared concerns. I wasn’t hungry then, either.  In fact, as I recall, I started losing my appetite when the first big metal door locked behind me.

Locked doors, however, do not frighten me as much as closed minds.

Stone walls do not a prison make nor iron bars a cage…

I note those who decry the notion of “political prisoners” seem to be, in many cases, prisoners of their own politics – and I hunger for the justice of a vigorous public conversation about judicial bribery and the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Yearger (June 18, 2009): Continue reading “One man’s convicted felon is another’s father, son”

Whitfield Appeal provides timely review of law re: judicial bribery, USA v Minor

Alan over at Y’all recently reported Judge Wingate’s largely unreported denial of Paul Minor co-defendant John Whitfield’s motion for release pending Appeal, adding this link to the Order.  Wingate hung his hat – or flipped his lid – guided by Rule 9(c) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure:

The applicable provision in the instant case, Title 18 U.S.C. § 3143(b )(1), says that the defendant in this case shall be detained unless this court is able to find that the appeal raises a substantial question of law or fact…this court is not persuaded that the defendant has submitted any substantial question of law which would result in reversal or a new trial on all counts for which the defendant has been sentenced to prison. Therefore, the motion of the defendant to be released pending appeal is denied.

Earlier this week Whitfield filed an Appeal at the 5th Circuit and SLABBED was among the media outlets receiving a copy of the Appeal brief from his new counsel.

A review of the Appeal provides the opportunity to explore the basis for his appeal in the context of related information about applicable law, cases currently in litigation with similar issues, and the circumstances surrounding Mr. Whitfield’s relationship with Paul Minor and subsequent conviction.

In its review of Mr. Whitfield’s Motion for Release, the District Court applied the wrong standard in two instances, resulting in a flawed ruling that is clearly erroneous. Continue reading “Whitfield Appeal provides timely review of law re: judicial bribery, USA v Minor”