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

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Ask and ye shall receive (Judge Davidson denies relief in Scruggs II)

When my kids would ask me for something and I’d say “I’ll think about it,” once in a while they’d forget a basic life lesson and come back to nag me.  I’d give them a look and say, “Do you really want an answer now.”

Pretty much invariably, they decided to wait.

Yesterday, the Scruggs team decided they really wanted an answer now, and today they got one, with a 48 page opinion explaining why Dickie Scruggs is not entitled to relief from his plea in Scruggs II.

As with the opinion on his son’s effort in Scruggs I, the judge has provided an opinion that provides the best available narrative to date of the crime in the particular case.  There’s a lot to it– the bulk is a footnoted narrative of the facts.

The most newsworthy thing is that the judge finds that Langston’s testimony at the hearing explicitly contradicted his plea colloquy and his grand jury testimony.   Lnangston had admitted the he was guilty of bribing DeLaughter by offering a thing of value– consideration of DeLaughter for appointment to the federal bench.  Judge Davidson notes that Langston claimed “I don’t know of a bribe.  I’m not aware of a bribe.  Obviously, I’m aware of the matter of his interest in a federal judgeship, but we didn’t offer him that.”  at 16.  Judge Davidson found that langston’s testimony at the evidentiary hearing conflicts with his plea and grand jury testimony, and is “not credible.”

Judge Davidson notes that the record establishes that DeLaughter “did, indeed, show favoritism to the Petitioner.”  He notes DeLaughter’s credibility problems after lying to the FBI.

Here’s the opinion.

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