Justice For Sale? DeLaughter Won't Fight Suspension - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 03/25/08

Justice For Sale? DeLaughter Won't Fight Suspension

By Marsha Thompson
marsha@wlbt.net

Hinds County Judge Bobby DeLaughter will not fight efforts to temporarily suspend him from hearing court cases.

As WLBT News first reported March 19, the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance filed a petition with the State Supreme Court to essentially bar him from the bench. The commission is conducting its own investigation in tandem with federal authorities.  

Judge DeLaughter is contesting the underlying facts in the two complaints filed against him by the commission.

The probe surrounds allegations that lawyers schemed to influence Judge DeLaughter in order to get a favorable ruling for Dickie Scruggs. In return, Judge DeLaughter's name would be mentioned for a seat on the federal bench.

In the letter, which was hand-delivered to the Mississippi Supreme Court and the commission, the judge wrote about the separating fact from fiction and restoring public confidence.  

It reads in part: "While I vehemently desire to dispute current media resports, I have declined further comment because I am of the opinion that judicial ethics require a judge to be circumspect concerning any investigation, even one concerning that judge. I will continue to take this high road and very much look forward to the day that I am afforded the opportunity by the Judicial Performance Commission to be fully heard in a setting where established rules of civil procedure and evidence apply, the goal of which is a search for the truth. I believe with all my heart in the system, and therefore place complete trust in the commission and the Mississippi Supreme Court to give these matters dispassionate and considered fair judgment,  guided by the rules and and the law. Once that is done, I will quietly and humbly abide by their decisions."  

Delaughter also wrote, "I will not challenge that temporary suspension and I look with the greatest anticipation to my chance to be heard. " 

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