Friday, July 4, 2008

Will Mississippi Change the Social Ethic of Its Legal Culture?

The leaders of the social ethic of the Mississippi legal culture are handing out accolades these days. For instance an award was given recently to the Circuit Court judge who became an agent of the federal government who entrapped people in a judicial bribe which he had proposed.

The United States District Court judge who handed down punishments -- prison and fines -- to the people who got caught in the sting is being congratulated for his hard bitten personality and the severity of the punishments given the limitations the judge was under due to plea bargains. He is also being congratulated for speaking for himself and not necessarily for the court.

So what do we have from all this? We have heroes and villains. The good guys are congratulated, bad guys are in jail. The good guys are really good, and the bad guys are really bad.

Case closed, the Social Ethic of the Legal Culture of Mississippi has been cleansed. Now everything can proceed as usual. I would not bet on this. Things are more complicated than they seem. What we have witnessed in the Scruggs Matter is only an emanation of a social ethic of the legal culture of Mississippi.

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