The government is going to have a tough row to hoe to convict Judge Bobby DeLaughter.
It is going to have to show that DeLaughter knew he was being bribed, knew that he was actually knowingly involved in the efforts of Richard Scruggs and his cast of characters (at the time well thought of by the community and the sub-community of lawyers) to influence him.
My guess is DeLaughter will show he was being "earwigged." Earwigging has a rich tradition in Mississippi. It is the only state that has specific rules devoted to trying to minimize earwigging. The Mississippi judicial conduct commission proceedings are replete with conduct involving ex parte contact between judges and litigants and others – earwigging.
The evidence at the DeLaughter trial will include all sorts of facts about the extent earwigging takes place in Mississippi. We will learn judicial cases are, in essence, political events whereby the judge treated like a composite of individuals making up a legislature. We will learn that lawyers and litigants and their friends have routinely contacted judges about cases and have done so in a host of imaginative ways. That is, that judges are routinely lobbied about the cases before them. We will learn that money does not have to change hands. We will learn that judges dearly like to be loved and thought well of by members of the community, members of the community they respect.
We may even learn what P. L. Blake was doing for his $50 million and what the hell Patterson was doing for his $80,000 per month.