Scruggs Nation, Day 47: story says Joey Langston pleads guilty

A story by Jerry Mitchell in this morning’s Clarion Ledger says Joey Langston entered a guilty plea in federal court.  Here’s a link.  As of the time I’m posting this it’s early on the West Coast, I may have more to say about this later.   

UPDATE: Walter Olson has written a long, excellent post at Overlawyered on the significance of the Langston plea on the national scene.  Walter also likens Mississippi AG Jim Hood’s current status to a "potted plant."  Incidentally, on Friday, Hood’s office sent an e-mail to AG employees barring any contact with the media AND bloggers without authorization.  Apparently the media restriction was in place before, but now bloggers are expressly included in the ban.  I guess Hood figures if he’s not going to talk, no one else should either.   

SECOND UPDATE: At times like this, it is easy to fall into a feeding frenzy and speculate unfairly. Remember we are working with a limited universe of known facts, and that interpretation of documents, public records and statements on the record by those who know first-hand is different than assuming the worst about someone or speculation based on oral or informal rumors, or what we wish to be true. Readers are free to contact me with information about what is going on, but I humbly ask that commenters please refrain from statements on this blog about the guilt or criminal involvement of those who have neither admitted any culpability nor been charged with a crime.  A label of criminal carries a serious stigma.  Let’s be fair even to those we may not like.  If anyone deserves to be brought to justice, well, let it come, but let’s try to put ourselves in the shoes of those we discuss, and their families.  Let’s remember that compassion, even for an enemy, is mankind’s noblest trait. Let’s only say those things that we would stand up in public, attach our name to and answer for.



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12 Responses to Scruggs Nation, Day 47: story says Joey Langston pleads guilty

  1. Heddy-Dale Matthias MD

    Does the article in the Clarion Ledger, aside from the obvious shenanigins, imply that former DA Ed Peters had a million dollars from Scruggs/Langston in “walking around money” to use to bribe and “influence” folks as he saw fit?

  2. THIN

    All Grisham needs is a murder/suicide for another best seller. It is usually the stories revolving around the rich, poor and rogues that make the best tales…looks like we have a perfect recipe in Mississippi. I am musing over the actor to play Hood, but no one in Hollywood would agree to that hair cut.

  3. Carly

    Excerpts from the C-L Jerry Mitchell story:
    “…seeking documents related to that attorneys’ fees lawsuit as well as documents regarding payments to Jackson lawyer Ed Peters,…”
    “In his statement to authorities, Langston said he helped Scruggs try to influence Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, who heard the case.
    DeLaughter, a former assistant district attorney under Peters, has repeatedly said he took no bribe. “The hardest part of this is not being able to defend myself, but I just can’t comment on it,” he said Saturday.”
    But Scruggs’ lawyers never listed Peters as an attorney of record in the case. According to statements, Peters was eventually given a total of $1 million to influence DeLaughter in the case. The statements show DeLaughter did not receive any of that money.”
    Obviously, Peters wanted no record of his payment or participation, but things do get messy sometimes.
    According to the article, STATEMENTS show that Delaughter did not receive any of THAT money.
    Jerry Mitchell scooped this story, but left much just hanging there, like the word statements. Why didn’t he provide the wording of the statements since he must have seen them to make a factual report.
    DeLaughter says he TOOK no bribes, but, as I asked the other day in this forum and received no answer, is a judge required by law to report the crime of attempted bribery? If the judge did not report this, what legal consequences would he face?
    If it isn’t against the law for failure to report, it should be. Otherwise, Joe Schmoe could make the attempt and be jailed, but a close friend could make the attempt and get a pass. Depends on the judge, I guess.
    Sometimes it’s nice to have friends in high places. I recently read someone say, “this group will have to reach up to touch the bottom.”

  4. Carly, without passing any judgment or making any factual statement about what DeLaughter or anyone else did or didn’t do, as a general statement one can say the judicial code of ethics obligates judges to report criminal activity or ethical violations to investigators and the state bar.
    There are indeed some things left hanging by this story. For example, WHEN was the plea entered before the judge? Also, the story makes it sounds as if this is part of the current Scruggs case, which is reinforced by the fact the November 28 Scruggs indictment is attached to the online version of the story. I’m having trouble seeing how the Lackey matter would have anything to do with Langston or Ed Peters. Questions remain unanswered.

  5. sam

    Are arraignment photographs (mug shots) of those indicted, public information?

  6. Bama Insurance

    Where were Hood and Moore the past 13 years and what were their relationships to everything that seems to have been going on with judges, asbestos trials, paper napkins, and “buried bodies”. Seems like USS Scruggs is springing more and more leaks everyday.

  7. DeltaNative

    The Feds need to keep digging. There is a Lott Moore under the Hood!

  8. Dixie Blankley

    No speculating, no judging at this time, just a tremendous thank you for keeping us up to date and keeping all this sorted out for us.

  9. Heddy-Dale Matthias MD

    (This L’Affair Scruggs is beginning to remind me of my favorite movie trilogy.)
    Times have changed. It’s not like the old days when we could do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. Don Corleone had all the judges and the politicians in New York and he must share them…He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly, he can present a bill for such services. After all, we are not Communists…
    I hoped that we would come here and reason together. And as a reasonable man, I’m willing to do whatever’s necessary to find a peaceful solution to these problems.
    Then we are agreed. The traffic in drugs will be permitted, but controlled, and Don Corleone will give up protection in the East – and there will be the peace.
    But I must have strict assurance from Corleone. As time goes by and his position becomes stronger, will he attempt any individual vendetta?
    Look, we are all reasonable men here. We don’t have to give assurances as if we were lawyers.
    (This, of course, is the great scene in The Godfather when the “families” are getting together, assuring each other there will be peace, while secretly planning each other’s destruction.)

  10. bellesouth

    Amen, Rossmiller, amen. One just doesn’t know. I do know people are shocked.

  11. Eye on Hood

    Hood must be sleeping with one eye open. His Day of Reckoning is bound to be upon him soon.

  12. Just watching

    I don’t think Trent Lott has ever been “duped” into do anything.