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Bribe Taking Judges To Face Sentencing

August 8, 2007

Two judges and a lawyer are facing prison time on bribery charges. More proof that there is corruption in the judiciary and people actively taking bribes. The judges’ bribes were given in the form of loans that were quietly granted then repaid on their behalves.

There are so many ways to bribe a judge, all of them shameful. It is a real disgrace. Some have no pride in their jobs, who they represent or who they affect with their misdeeds. It is a betrayal of public trust that keeps cropping up. That says that there is a problem.

The government seldom wants to talk about it, but it is a real problem that is rampant in the judicial system. Judges are abusing the system and innocent litigants, also known as taxpayers, for money, stocks, other forms of financial advancement and sexual favors.

While some crooked judges and lawyers have been caught, there are many more on the bench and in the bar association that need to be brought to justice for the sake of the citizens of this country and the Judiciary’s name.

There is something very shameful about bribing people and illegally soliciting payment on the bench. It doesn’t make one smart, shrewd or clever. There’s no honor in that. What it says is something awful about you, your character or rather lack thereof, classing you with the worst of mankind:

Judicial bribery sentences expected to be lengthy
Minor, Teel, Whitfield still waiting
By ANITA LEE
calee@sunherald.com

JACKSON –U.S. District Court Judge Henry T. Wingate plans to sentence attorney Paul Minor and two former state court judges convicted of bribery and fraud to longer prison terms than they had hoped.

Decisions Wingate made at a hearing that recessed Friday afternoon mean 61-year-old Minor, who faces the stiffest sentence, could spend 12 years in prison rather than the three to four years he had hoped, his attorney, Abbe Lowell, told the judge. No date has been set to conclude sentencing, but Wingate hopes to reconvene next week if attorneys’ schedules permit. He could sentence Minor to up to 95 years…

Minor and the judges contended at both trials that the multimillionaire attorney was simply trying to help friends when he secured $140,000 in loans for Whitfield and $25,000 for Teel in 1998, made cash payments on the loans and eventually repaid them through intermediaries because the judges were financially strapped.

Whitfield said during the initial interview that he was approached by Minor at a social function when the loans were in place. Minor talked about one of his cases, saying it was worth $4 million to $5 million, Whitfield told investigators. Attorneys are not supposed to approach judges outside the legal system’s boundaries to talk about cases.

Whitfield later awarded Minor’s client in the case $3.6 million. Though Whitfield never admitted, in the interview or in court, that Minor’s actions influenced his decision, but the jury found him guilty of accepting a bribe.

http://www.sunherald.com/201/story/112966.html

Story found here

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