Friday, December 11, 2009

Paul Minor Conviction Tossed Out

Breaking News: The government's case against Mississippi Democratic fundraiser Paul Minor was dealt a huge blow today by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Jackson Clarion Ledger reports:
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has tossed out a bribery conviction in the public corruption case against former lawyer Paul Minor, but the remainder of his convictions remain intact.  It will be up to U.S. District Judge Henry Wingate to decide what reduction, if any, he will give Minor in his 11-year sentence as well as $3 million in fines and restitution.

In 2007, a federal jury in Mississippi convicted Minor and two former Mississippi Gulf Coast judges — Wes Teel and John Whitfield — of corruption because Minor had helped guarantee or pay off loans of judges who heard some of his cases. The three-judge panel had previously raised questions about federal jurisdiction, asking prosecutors how a bribery charge could constitute a federal crime if it didn’t involve "any business, transaction, or series of transactions of such organization, government or agency involving any thing of value of $5,000 or more" as required by statute.

Readers may recall that the Rove Republican Racket went after Minor because of his Democratic political connections in Mississippi.