“Humanity is governed by minorities, seldom or never by majorities. It suppresses its feelings and its beliefs and follows the handful that makes the most noise. Sometimes the noisy handful is right, sometimes wrong, but no matter, the crowd follows it.” (Mark Twain)
Yesterday, Patsy Brumfield broke the story of Zach Scruggs’ Motion to Vacate and today she followed with more details in a post on her blog at NEMS360.com. Patsy found “two elements… especially interesting”. The element at the top of her list is the government’s conduct, the subject of the ongoing SLABBED conversation about “prosecutorial decision making” and two related posts specific to the subject: A mind is like a parachute. If it doesn’t open, you’re f#@%*d! and Why do people confess to crimes they didn’t commit.
Patsy’s story set off a lot of “noise”. However, what is needed – and what justice requires – is less noise about Zach and his money and more thoughtful conversation about the content and issues raised in the Motion to Vacate and the 393 pages of the Memorandum of Authorities in Support and Exhibits.
Patsy summarized her interest:
“the government’s early story to the court that Zach Scruggs knew about an alleged scheme to bribe another judge was not true. A magistrate judge and Joey Langston, then a Booneville attorney who pleaded guilty in that scheme, say so in statements under oath”.
Now-retired prosecutor Tom Dawson, in his book “King of Torts,” says that story to the court, that Langston was going to testify to that effect, greatly increased Zach Scruggs’ peril of long prison time and deep financial consequences, should a jury have convicted him of being part of the attempted bribery of Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City.
That pressure on Zach Scruggs was key to his guilty plea, most informed observers and Dawson say. But we don’t learn about the sworn statements contradicting that story until this new document notes the affidavits….
Patsy then adds, “Without the ‘other plot’ story, you’ve got to wonder if Judge Neal Biggers would have agreed with the government to sentence Zach Scruggs to probation, rather than what he got, 14 months in prison” and I do wonder, particularly in light of his Order dismissing USA v Weiner (November 2009).
The agents repeatedly played the roles of inducers in the present case. Their actions were nothing less than blatant, though unsuccessful, attempts to manufacture federal jurisdiction and are reminiscent of the behavior of the agents in one of the seminal cases on manufactured jurisdiction.
Compare that situation to this excerpt from Zach’s Memorandum:
“Although the Government never charged Movant with any crime in the DeLaughter /Wilson case the Government proposed to Continue reading “Zach and the “noise makers” – the Zach Scruggs’ Motion to Vacate Conviction”