I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


At Dockery Plantation, the real home of the blues

Dockery Plantation, between Cleveland and Ruleville, Mississippi on state Highway 8, was established in 1895. It is and will be historically remembered as a major dissemination point for the blues, at its beginnings. Charley Patton lived there, and a number of musicians who learned directly from him learned there or in that area. […]

House on Highway 8, just west of Ruleville, Mississippi

Every time I go on Highway 8 between Holcomb and Ruleville, I’ve noticed this building.  Today, I stopped and took photos, travelling through the Delta with Joyce, Chris Offut, and Melissa Ginsburg.  Melissa noticed that, to one side behind the house, it had a satellite dish.

There has to be a story about […]

12-21-07: DeLaughter comes clean(er) with the FBI

You might want to read this chronology before reading this post.  You also probably should read about DeLaughter’s first FBI interview.

DeLaughter’s second FBI interview memo closes with passages that makes me wonder, again, why this was placed in evidence by the Scruggs team:

At the time, DELAUGHTER did not think that PETERS’ and LANGSTON’s help […]

Something you may want to know if you like strawberry frappuccinos

Would you rather eat ground-up bugs or whale vomit?  Fortunately, this bartender in Chicago is only suggesting you smell the whale vomit with his cocktail, while the folks at Starbucks and Kellogs are asking you to eat ground-up cochineal beetles.  Mmmm.  Strawberry frappuccino.  Never had one.  But I will say, from having read the […]

12-10-07: Bobby DeLaughter misleads the FBI but then thinks better of it

You might want to read this chronology before reading this post.

Two FBI interview memos from Bobby DeLaughter were placed in evidence in the hearing.  With DeLaughter not testifying, it is not clear to me the evidentiary import of these documents.  Whatever that may be, there are some statements in the second one that […]

12-11-07: Ed Peters doesn’t come clean with the FBI

You might want to read this chronology before reading this post.

On December 11, the day after the FBI had raided Langston’s law office and visited Bobby DeLaughter, they dropped by Ed Paters’s office for a visit.  He didn’t have a lawyer, but decided to talk anyway.

In his interview, Peters “stated he represented STEVE PATTERSON […]

Scruggs I and II erupt: Some notes on the November 2007-January 2008

During the trial this week, three FBI interview memos surfaced for the first time:  2 interviews with Bobby DeLaughter and an interview with Ed Peters.  All of them occurred in mid-December of 2007.  To fully appreciate the context of these interviews, a timeline of events in late November of 2007 through early January of […]

The biggest news in the hearing Monday and Tuesday was in the exhibits…

… and, because no one in the gallery saw them, it all got missed.

What Ed Peters said about the judicial appointment in the grand jury

In the hearing this week in Scruggs II, Ed Peters’s grand  jury testimony and one of his four FBI interview statements were placed in evidence in lieu of his testimony. [1]. The interview memo is from an interview of 12/11/07, the day before DeLaughter’s first interview with the F.B.I. and , and would be Peters’s first statement to them.[2] I’ll post later about what I see in that one.

I did an earlier post about the grand jury testimony (and the 9/9/08 FBI interview notes) that summarized them.  While the 9/9/08 interview has lots to say about the judicial appointment,[3]. it’s not in evidence in the hearing this week, and so I won’t focus on in here other than in the footnote.   This post focuses on what’s in evidence  from the grand jury testimony, particularly on the judicial appointment issue.

You learn several things from the grand jury testimony (which was on October 21, 2008).

  • Peters remembers the judicial position coming up in the first meeting with Paterson and Langston.  While he remembers them saying there was no linkage with the help on the case, he made clear that, in his mind, help with a judicial position was one of the reasons that DeLaughter was influenced.
  • Peters remembers DeLaughter saying “you won’t believe this” when he called to tell Peters about the call from Trent Lott.  It sounds like he was both surprised and pleased.

The real argument in the hearing was whether DeLaughter got something, the other end of the exchange.  Scruggs made two arguments:  That the help on the judicial appointment and the help on the case weren’t linked, and that the help on the judicial appointment didn’t mean anything.

Peters says he told Scruggs’s team about DeLaughter’s ambition to be a judge.  He believes he told Patterson.  They gave him the impression they would help on the judicial appointment.

Continue reading What Ed Peters said about the judicial appointment in the grand jury

Earl Scruggs has died at 88

Earl Scruggs revolutionized banjo playing while in Bill Monroe’s band in the 1940s, and then, with Lester Flatt, formed one of the greatest country, string, or bluegrass bands of all time.  He died at age 88 today.

Here are Flatt and Scruggs, “Rolling in My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”

and “Lonesome Road Blues”

Here he […]