Monday, July 27, 2015

Criminal defense lawyers dominate donations to D.A.'s campaign

Criminals, oops, criminal defense lawyers dominate the list of donors for the campaign of  District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith.  Seven of the top ten donors are leading criminal defense lawyers in Hinds County.  Such names were oddly absent in his 2007 campaign as he depended more on donations from himself and Republicans.  A listing of donations in 2015 reveals the following:

$5,000 Dr.'s Royce and Alice Smith (D.A.'s mom and dad. Preacher).
$2,500 Richard Schwartz
$2,500 Herbert Lee (Attorney)
$2,000 Merrida Coxwell
$2,000 Winston Thompson
$2,000 Aafrim Sellers
$2,000 Herrin-Gear
$1,000 Cynthia Speetjens
$1,000 Dennis Sweet
$1,000 Tom Fortner
$1,000 Ascend Surgical
$1,000 Barksdale Cadillac
$1,000 Aluminum Recycling
$1,000 Matthew Baldridge
$500 Harry Rosenthal (owner of secrets & attorney)
$500 Henry Kirskey

$500 Coleman & Parish
$250 Matt Eichelberger

Total raised: $49,312
Cash on hand: $41,243

Compare this list to his 2007 run at this point in the election cycle:

$2,500 Ed Peters
$1,000 Billy Mounger
$1,000 Wilson Carroll
$500 Stuart Irby

These were the only contributions over $500 although Aafrim Sellers donated $250.  Most of the funds for the 2007 campaign came from personal loans or donations from Robert Shuler Smith.  The top donors in his 2007 donor list could be considered leaders in the "White Power Structure".  Funny how things change as Smith has now jumped into the Robert Graham crowd and calls his opponent a Republican (code word for white)  puppet.

Kingfish note: Hinds voters need to ask themselves if they want a District Attorney picked by the criminals and their representatives because that is exactly what is going on in this election.  Want to know what is wrong with the Hinds County criminal justice system? Look at that list. JJ is a strong believer in the criminal defense bar and due process.  However, that is a far cry from letting the criminal defense lawyers run the criminal justice system in Hinds County. 


Anonymous said...

A damn good reason for voting for Alexander

Anonymous said...

Sitting DA's will almost always get financial support from their counterparts on the bar. Those numbers don't seem out of the ordinary. What's telling to me is more the absence of support from elsewhere, demonstrating the community at large isn't buying his work.

Anonymous said...

Your comments about criminal defense attorneys when coupled with your lame ass joke at the beginning makes about as much sense as a glass hammer.
Get off the sidelines and do something if you truly care as much as you tell everyone.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Smith has to go; however, I also appreciate our systematic approach to upholding rule of law instead of having citizens being executed by guillotine or angry mobs without little evidence--criminal defense attorneys are a vital part of upholding this. Your jab at them is unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

Ah. Got ahead of myself. I see that you are a strong believer in the criminal defense bar and due process. My apologies.

Merry Pason said...

Why would lawyers who represent (potential) criminals want to fund the campaign to reelect the District Attorney, you might axe. I don't. But YOU might.

Pearl Justice said...

'Counterparts on the bar'? You have got to be shittin' me.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you expected donations from the Oil and Gas bar?

You do understand that the criminals, not the criminal defense attorneys are the bad guys right? This is not an episode of Law & Order.

Anonymous said...

And . . .

Perhaps an indication that, under Mr. Smith, cases are prosecuted fairly and efficiently.

Kingfish said...

How many times do we hear lawyers of the liberal persuasion, including on that list who has a political website, shrieking that office holders are in the pockets of those they regulate or deal with in their business because they took contributions from them?

Anonymous said...

What do you call a criminal defense lawyer who can't get his/her client a deal from the D.A.? Unemployed. Follow the money and you'll always know who owns the official.

Anonymous said...

"a District Attorney picked by the exactly what's going on..." Yet, you fail to list one criminal. Way to go, Donna Ladd!! Spread misinformation as it suits your agenda! You clearly do not understand professionalism among opposing attorneys. I don't practice criminal law, but if I did and I had a good relationship with the sitting DA, you're damn right I'd contribute to him. I contribute to the elections of those state regulators that provide oversight over my areas of practice.

Anonymous said...

the hilariousness juxtaposition of this little tidbit and an ad for the almost comically ineffective sheriff is not lost on me.

Anonymous said...


Of course they have a good relationship with the sitting DA. He gives them great deals, to the detriment of the citizens. Do you think any of those guys would give him money if he was really tough on crime? Ask yourself how many of those lawyers names on that list actually live in Hinds County?

Anonymous said...

10:16, yes I do think those guys would give him money if he was tough on crime, so long as he was professional, courteous and dutiful in his handling of their cases (i.e., provided exculpatory evidence timely, tried cases fairly, etc). My point is not that the DA is good at his job for the county, because the record would indicate he may not be. However, KF shouldn't go off half cocked and suggest that these members of the bar are buying deals. That's inaccurate and offensive.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish I'm willing to bet Micheal Guest has the same amount of Criminal Defense Attorney's donate to him too. I personally know really liberal criminal defense attorney's that donate to him. Does this make him a bad DA as well?

Anonymous said...

You clearly do not understand professionalism among opposing attorneys.

Maybe so but the non-legal public certainly understands how corrupt your little club can be and is.

Anonymous said...

Attorneys are offended? ROFLMAO

Anonymous said...

I think all the posters agree that the current DA is incompetent. I can't imagine there being a debate on that issue. The point is it strange that criminal defense lawyers donate to the DA? No it's not. What is strange is that they would donate to this one, who is clearly ineffective. Maybe that's what they want though. I can't really blame them for that.

Anonymous said...

How many times do we hear lawyers of the [conservative] persuasion, shrieking that office holders are in the pockets of [trial lawyers] because they took contributions from them?

Anonymous said...

Smith's office has over 11,000 convictions. Funny no one, including this blog or Mr. Alexander, has put forth Mr. Alexander's conviction record.

Anonymous said...

Good thing he is not relying on that Irby donation this election cycle.

Anonymous said...

Smith's office has over 11,000 convictions. Bullship.

Anonymous said...

11:32 --

Smith's office has over 11,000 convictions. Funny no one, including this blog or Mr. Alexander, has put forth Mr. Alexander's conviction record.

Yeah, Shuler? How many no-bills do you have? Do you keep stats on the catch-and-release program, too, or just "convictions," which encompass all guilty pleas?

Kingfish said...

There is a difference between Guest and Smith's lists. All but a couple of Guests donations by lawyers are of the small variety. $250 or so so they can say they gave. There are a couple of $1,000 donations by Ogden and Coxwell. Many of them are not criminal defense lawyers.

Far cry from what you see above.

Anonymous said...

The fact that there are 3-4 times as many cases flowing through those Hinds County (DA and Defense) offices probably doesn't explain that difference, though. Keep reaching to justify your narrative, KF.

Anonymous said...

Winston Thompson: Formerly served as an Assistant District Attorney in Hinds County. Now managing partner at the Cochran Firm where he specializes in: general trial litigation involving mass tort, personal injury, and criminal defense cases.

Cynthia Speetjens: 15 years as a state prosecutor, she obtained the death penalty on seven occasions for the State.

Anonymous said...

"far cry from what you see above."

From KF's math, let's accept there are 2 total contributions in excess of $250 from defense attorneys for Guest, totaling $2,000. There are $13,500 shown on KF's list for Smith from attorneys over $250. So, there is an $11,500 difference between contributions to the Hinds DA, the most active county criminally by a long-shot, and the neighboring DA.

Is that a far cry?

"Facts are lost on certain people who are more concerned with making everything fit a certain narrative."
-KF on Donna Ladd, 7-19-15

Anonymous said...

July 27, 2015 at 1:35 PM
Still not seeing anything pertaining to Alexander's "successful" prosecutions. His office handles about 80% less and gets more NG's than guilty verdicts.

Anonymous said...

Question: Are the NE Jackson Alexander supporters going to vote in the Dem Primary for Alexander or in the Rep. Primary for Longwitz and Pickering??????????????

Anonymous said...


It looks like Smith's employees are taking over the thread. They won't have much time to do that after August 4th because they will be too busy looking for jobs.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me how many cases Robert Smith has personally tried as DA?

Anonymous said...

Ha cases Robert smith has personally tried. That's a good one. Gave me a good laugh for the day

Tater Truck Rolls Thru Town said...

Right. Several of you goobs actually expect that I will believe defense attorneys are propping up this failed campaign because they like the fair and efficient operation of Shuler's office. Please a fucking break give me.

Anonymous said...

I was at a community meeting where Alexander handed out the official Hinds county circuit court stats. Smith has nowhere near 11,000 convictions. That is a blatant lie! Much closer to about 5,500. The stats also showed that Smith's office averages only 20 trials per year (5 per judge per year) and a whopping 3800 case dismissals AFTER indictment. His office's win percentage is a paltry 72%. These numbers came from the official records that I held in my hand. Where are Smith's records to support his 11,000 case claim?

Anonymous said...

@ 9:53
Did Alexander hand you his stats? They are missing from this whole discussion.

Anonymous said...

Alexander lists quite a number of his convictions on his website including his conviction of a Smith employee for soliciting and accepting bribes to fix cases. I noticed that you didn't dispute the validity of the Circuit Court records. So much for the 11,000 convictions. According to the press releases on Alexander's website, Alexander actually tried these cases himself. Can you list 7 cases that RSS actually tried over the past 7 years? That's only 1 per year. I don't think that's too much to ask for from the sitting DA of the most populous county in the state.

Anonymous said...

"including his conviction of a Smith employee for soliciting and accepting bribes to fix cases."

That prosecution followed from an investigation initiated by Smith's office then referred to the AG for prosecution, which is standard to avoid any potential conflict or perceived bias.

Me Want To Know, Kemo Sabe said...

The Water Head. What about the Water Head? Is Smith gonna prosecute the Water Head or release him back into the wild?

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm shocked!

As an attorney, KF, you have painted as a criminal one of the most highly recognized attorneys in Mississippi, one who was inducted into the most prestigious organization in the legal profession ( the one with Supreme Court Justices as members) as a criminal. Indeed, that attorney has also served as President of the very few Mississippi lawyers ( the vast majority of whom are NOT criminal attorneys) so honored.

So, no attorneys should represent those accused of a crime and those who do are criminals themselves?

And, to make it more bizarre, somehow, Ed Peters strikes you as a more honorable contributor ?

And, then one of your loyal readers thinks a 72% conviction rate is bad?

And, another thinks a DA ought to be trying cases rather than managing the DA's office?

I wasn't going to vote for Smith, but I've changed my mind.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:08
"Alexander lists quite a number of his convictions on his website"

Does he have a secret website I don't know about? Because I am not seeing a list of convictions.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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