Monday, December 19, 2016

D.A. goes after Clarion-Ledger

The Pentagon Papers comes to Hinds County.  Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith subpoenaed on December 9 all correspondence the Clarion-Ledger received from Christopher Butler.  The newspaper said hell no and filed a motion to quash the subpoena on Thursday. 

A grand jury indicted Smith in September for three counts of improperly helping criminal defendants.  The trial for State v. Robert Shuler Smith is supposed to begin today.  One of the criminal defendants is twice-convicted drug dealer Christopher Butler.  The Attorney General is currently prosecuting Butler for various charges of consumer fraud.  A grand jury also indicted Butler in 2012 for more drug charges.  The D.A. attempted to drop the charges but Circuit Judge Jeff Weill refused to allow him to do so.  Smith claims that Butler was framed by MBN agents. 

Anna Wolfe has been the regular reporter on this story.  Butler sent at least one letter to the Clarion-Ledger.  Ms. Wolfe wrote several stories about Butler that used correspondence sent by Butler. The subpoena states:

1. You are subpoenaed to produce no I• than Friday, December 16, 2016, all letters that Anna. Wolfe or any other employee has received :&oin Christopher Butler. You may produce these letters by emailing a copy to Jim Waide at or by faxing them to 662- 842-80S6, AND by emailhig eopies t.o Assistant Attorney Geiwal Robert Anderson at or  faxingtommat 601-359-42S4.
 However, the Clarion-Ledger refused to engage in this foolishness and filed a motion to quash.  The motion stated:

the subpoena  seeks  privileged information protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Smith cannot  override that privilege with a demonstration that he cannot obtain the requested information by alternative means when a witness will be available at trial to testify about it, nor has he made any showing that the information is relevant or its production  necessary...

 2.   The letter contains information from a non-confidential source, i.e., Butler, that the  newspaper elected not to publish. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi has held the First Amendment protects journalists with a qualified privilege from compelled  production of this  type of unpublished  information  and  resource material.....

 5. The Clarion-Ledger finally notes that if it is subject to compelled document production in response to subpoenas issued by criminal defense attorneys for documents, materials, and information that assisted reporters at The Clarion-Ledger in the writing of news stories about criminal matters – when it is readily apparent the information is obtainable from a witness at the trial and there has been absolutely no showing of the relevance of the sought after document or the need for it – criminal defense attorneys will have the green light to conduct fishing expeditions, as is happening here.

 Kingfish note: Jim Waide knows this subpoena is doomed to fail. The only purpose of this motion is for harassment.  The subpoena also serves the purpose of intimidating sources if it is allowed to stand.  Judge Roberts will hear the hot wind and then make short work of the argument.  Of course, this is the same lawyer who tried to put a Judge's clerk on the stand in this case.  The same lawyer who gave transcripts to the media and then complained to court about the content of the transcripts and the surrounding publicity- when it was he who created the publicity.  Stay tuned. 


Anonymous said...


HIS CASE DISMISSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If he was black he'd still be in jail or under the jail.

Anonymous said...

That was a stupid remark.!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, how can Sam R. Hall say hell no when he demands to see everyone else' mail. What's good for everybody else is good for the Clarion Ledger. Open records!

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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.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS