Monday, May 8, 2017

Weill routs Routh.

Hinds County public defender Christopher Routh was routed at the Mississippi Supreme Court.  Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill ordered the incarceration of Mr. Routh for the remainder of the business day.  Mr. Routh appealed to the Mississippi Supreme Court but the court upheld Judge Weill.  Mr. Routh found out the hard way that it is never a good idea to disobey a judge in open court.   The Court gave a pretty good idea of where it was going in the opinion in the first two sentences :

Criminal contempt “involves an act ‘which tends to bring the court into disrepute or disrespect.’” In this case, Christopher Scott Routh was found in direct criminal contempt after he disrespected the court—specifically by standing up to dispute a judge’s bond ruling after the bond hearing had been concluded and despite being directed by the judge to sit down and make any further argument by written motion.
Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weill revoked the bond of Lauren Shell Blackwell at the hearing in question on April 15, 2016.  A Hinds County grand jury indicted Blackwell and Walter Lee Young for capital murder in the  October 2016 death of 81 year-old Lee Kendrick. They were indicted for auto theft as well as they allegedly stole the victim's car after killing him.



Kendrick was murdered at the Edgewood Apartments in a vacant unit.  JPD accused Blackwell of luring Kendrick to the apartment after she met him in Pearl at Romantic Adventures.  She was arrested and charged last October.  County Court Judge Melvin Priester, Sr. allowed her to remain free on house arrest and a $1,000 bond, since she was pregnant, over the objections of prosecutors   Young is the cousin of her boyfriend.  Earlier post about hearing, murder, and copy of transcript.

Judge Weill revoked her bond at the hearing.  Public Defender Chris Routh represented Blackwell.  Blackwell appeared late for her arraignment with her baby in her arms.  Routh argued that she should be allowed to remain free on bond.  Prosecutor Mike Henry objected and said that capital murder suspects were not granted  bond as a matter of practice.  He said that she was not from Jackson and the stolen car was located in Jefferson County.


However, Routh said Blackwell needed to be home with her baby for medical reasons.  He said she could only give her baby breast milk since he suffered from a gastrointestinal condition.  However, Judge Weill ruled that the only evidence he offered was a set of general discharge instructions that recommended she give her baby breast milk.  However, the actual general discharge instructions said that Blackwell was to feed her baby with breast milk or Similac Neosure. Judge Weill said the defendant presented no evidence whatsoever that her child suffered from a gastrointestinal problem or that the baby could only be fed breast-milk.

Judge Weill denied bond and cited the capital murder charge and DNA evidence placing Blackwell at the scene of the crime as the basis for his ruling.  It probably did not help Routh's cause that he was caught lying to the court.  However, Routh could not just help himself and refused to sit down and shut up when the hearing was adjourned:

ourt: That will conclude the hearing.
Routh: Your honor, if I may, I'm --
Court: No you may not. We're done here, Mr. Routh.
Routh: Your honor, the constitution
Court: Excuse me, Mr. Routh.
Routh: requires
Court: Mr. Routh
Routh: that the court
Court: please be seated.
Routh: place on the record
Court: please be seated.
Routh: reasons for denying bail. The court has not done that.
Court; All right. You're in contempt. direct criminal contempt, Mr. Routh, and we're going to take a ten-minute break. (Court issues instructions on break)
Court: All right, first of all, we've got to have order in this courtroom. Whether we've got civil, criminal matters going on, we've just got to have order and I"m charged with maintaining that order.
Mr. Routh, you've had plenty of opportunity to make a record today and make your arguments. I'll note that you blatantly misrepresented something on the record today.  (Copy of discharge instructions are on p.29 of documents posted below.) After I made my ruling, I told you I was not going not hear any further argument and you repeatedly refused my directive to sit down.  I advised you to file a detailed written motion if you had anything else to present on this issue and I'll still consider any written motion on the bond issue.

Judge Weill then found Routh to be in criminal contempt of court and sentenced him to jail for the remainder of the business day.  Attorney Merrida Coxwell filed an emergency writ of habeas corpus with the Mississippi Supreme Court. The court ordered the release of Routh on a $500 bond as he appealed the finding of contempt.

The Court said that the only issue was whether Judge Weill was correct in ruling that Mr. Routh was in criminal contempt of court.  The Court stood behind the Circuit Judge:

“Conduct directed against the court’s dignity and authority is criminal contempt.... (Miss. 1990)). Here, Routh challenged the dignity and authority of the trial court when he interjected his argument after the judge had ruled on the bond issue, clearly instructed Routh any further argument should be made by written motion, ended the hearing, denied Routh’s request to make further oral argument, and directed Routh to sit down.
Routh argued he was merely exercising his constitutional rights in defending his client.  However, the Court said in effect, nice try:

The problem with this argument is that the transcript clearly shows the judge had followed the Constitution. Before denying bond, the judge explained his reasons for doing so—(1) the fact the crime was capital and punishable by death, (2) the need to protect the public, (3) the State’s strong evidence against Blackwell, and (4) the lack of evidence to support Routh’s contention that Blackwell’s baby required breast milk. S So the judge had already complied with this constitutional requirement before the acts giving rise to the criminal contempt. Thus, Routh cannot rely on “invoking a constitutional safeguard” as justification to continue arguing after the hearing had ended and while he was being asked to sit down. At this point, Routh was simply disputing the judge’s decision to deny bond.
Mr. Routh could have filed a written motion protesting the denial of bond but "instead of filing a motion, Routh chose to disrupt the court." The Court ruled that Judge Weill had every right to maintain order in his courtroom.


Kingfish note: Amazing how many comments in this earlier post about the matter attacked Judge Weill and got it completely wrong.  Does this ruling mean Judge Weill will get cussed out by a priest yet again?The Court also affirmed a contempt ruling against public defender Greg Spore after the attorney made a fool out of himself in court with his shrieks as well as a contempt finding against attorney Randy Harris that was upheld by the Mississippi Supreme Court. 



34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure frequent Weill critic someoneinnorthms, who also comments here at JJ anonymously, will show up ...

In this case, the transcript appears to show no disrespect from Chris. In fact, it appears that he was doing his JOB--asking the court to make a record that can be reviewed. It appears Weill is the one who doesn't want his actions reviewed. That alone makes one question his motives.

Or maybe he'll stop by to advocate that the Supreme Court Justices should expect abusive threatening phone calls and that such calls come with being a judge ...

someoneinnorthms: Weill must be the most thin-skinned judge on the bench in Mississippi ... Weill is a member of the Snowflake generation apparently. Sad. Really, really sad that he is a judge.

someoneinnorthms: Oh, I just said something negative about Herr Weill. I'll probably be in jail soon.

someoneinnorthms: Weill wants to criminalize dissent and/or expression. He's such a crybaby.

someoneinnorthms: "this priest's calls were threatening." Only if one is a Snowflake.

someoneinnorthms: If Herr Weill expected no criticism then he shouldn't be on the bench in the first place.

This is one of the most ridiculous thing's he's done in a ling [sic] line of ridiculous things. He's trying to hang a life-long scarlet A across the chest of someone who expressed an opinion. Maybe it was the strength of the opinion that irked him. Maybe it was the tone. But if this is intimidating to him then he really is silly and thin-skinned abd shouldn't be on the bench.

Heil Weill!

Anonymous said...

You going to run the ACLU Madison County lawsuit papers, I bet more people care.

Anonymous said...

No other judges seem to be having these problems with attorneys in their courtrooms.

Anonymous said...

You are concerned about 'these problems' in other courtrooms? This PD probably would have gotten his capital murder client off with no bond in Green or Kidd's courtroom, so no need for him to act an ass. In fact, maybe that's his problem, he has been spoiled by Green/Kidd release program

Anonymous said...

Any judge has the authority when legal to do so to call bull shit when they here it. When a judge says sit down and shut up don't push the issue.

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact a judge not only has the authority but the obligation to call out someone in contempt.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that he should have been put in jail simply for lying to the Court. Lawyers are under an obligation to be truthful to tribunals regardless of whether it helps or hurts their murderous clients.

Anonymous said...

Hell, 4:05, don't you think our jails are already overcrowded? If we started jailing all lying lawyers, we would have to get Chris Epps and Rep Malone back to open up some more private prisons.

Kingfish said...

The Madison County lawsuit is over 80 pages. Going to take me some time to read it.

Anonymous said...

Wow 80pages sounds like there mightbe more than the Bill Weisenbeger mess then....

Anonymous said...

4:54 Let"s not get ahead of ourselves. How about one lying lawyer at a time.

Anonymous said...

Weill is an egotistical jerk.

He needs to go.

Anonymous said...

"Lawyers are under an obligation to be truthful to tribunals..."

Yet neither the lawyers nor the judges are sworn in to tell the truth...

Anonymous said...

Judge Weill's does his job by holding these clowns accountable. Just ask the Supreme Court.

He needs to stay.

Anonymous said...

to 8:25....... attorneys are "sworn in" when they are admitted to the bar, you doofus. if you don't like our system of justice maybe you should move to a more enlightened country. may i suggest cuba, iran, north korea or red china.

someoneinnorthms said...

Some of us work for a living. I'll be back to defend my side of the Bar momentarily. Of course Herr Weill was wrong. But now I have my notice. Hinds County is off-limits to me and my kind. I'll enter only at my own peril.

Anonymous said...

11:44 If Weill is 'your' reason to make Hinds County off-limits, that's very telling of your walk.

Anonymous said...

Not a lawyer so I know nothing about contempt, standard bond, etc. Can't imagine anyone arr aged much less indicted on capital murder charges should be released on any type of bail. That said, Neosure is not a formula recommended for healthy infants. If this baby was born prematurely or with health issues, breast milk is the ideal food for the child. Perhaps she can be allowed to pump and store her milk while incarcerated and have someone pick it up everyday. If her claim is legitimate, I'm not sure what she planned to do when separated from her child post-conviction (assuming she is convicted). Whatever she planned for that, if anything, is what she should do while awaiting trial.

Anonymous said...

Woman ( defendants ) hauling babies (either theirs or not) into court hearings as a ploy to avoid being held accountable is a really old trick. I was in court in Ridgeland 20 years ago and when the room was called to order the Judge said any of you defendants that brought your babies with you today thinking you won't go to jail need to leave the courtroom right now and call someone to come and pick your baby up because it will not stop you from going to jail today. If you don't and are sentenced I will call DHS and they will take custody of your baby. Three women jumped up and scurried for the pay phones.

Anonymous said...

JJ, just curious, can someone on here be both anonymous and have a "handle". For example, Chris Routh is apparently "anonymous" (see @7:48) and also "someoneinnorthms" (sure you're in North Ms)?

Kingfish said...

Nope. Have no idea and wouldn't want to know if there was a way.

Anonymous said...

A big part of the problem with the legal system in MS is the quality of its judges, which naturally follows from the quality of its lawyers. While it is true there are lawyers in MS that are honest, ethical people who take legal scholarship seriously, many are simply unfit for the legal profession and are in it solely for the money. Of course, lawyers are as entitled as any other working person to earn a living. They are not entitled to (more) money simply because of their profession. Unfortunately, the vast majority of MS-educated lawyers wouldn't cut the mustard outside the MS legal system and since this is the primary source of MS judges, much of the MS judiciary is not well thought-of outside (and even inside) MS, and this includes both criminal and civil jurisprudence. Off-hand, I can think of VERY few MS judges (mostly MS educated), from chancellors and circuit judges to the appellate courts and federal judiciary, that are considered even "decent" judges based upon their judicial production. I can, however, think of numerous MS judges, again at all levels, that are thought of as ineffective, incompetent or even unsuitable for a variety of reasons, including unethical conduct.

As to Weill in particular, I can think of several occasions where he has failed to demonstrate the characteristics that mark a particular fitness for the bench, but really cannot think of any particular incident that would warrant permanent removal from the (MS) bench. I can think of MANY other examples of MS judges showing much more serious examples of judicial unsuitability. The truly sad thing for Mississippians is that "eh, not TOO bad..." is, generally the upper range rather than the low-middle of the range.

Recently, there was a minor flap in MS legal community when a national legal website, abovethelaw.com, had a post that took issue with low MS bar exam passage rates and another that suggested MS needed more lawyers.

What MS needs is BETTER lawyers, which will translate into better judges, and less improper influence, both political and cronyism, in its judiciary. The citizens do bear some responsibility for their own fate because MS judges are elected, but most citizens don't vote and of those that do vote, very few bother to inform themselves about judges. A big step forward would be judges being subject to a civilian review board of reasonably large size and with a true representation of the population (i.e., not just those with connections), but judges would resist this. Others suggest that judges should be appointed, but for the most part, those that suggest such want the appointments made by the governor, the legislature, other lawyers, etc. Until ordinary citizens take control of their own legal system, it will not change.

someoneinnorthms said...

I'm not Chris Routh. Anybody who has paid attention for long on this, and many other sites, knows exactly who I am. I'm not excited about saying my real name because I am quite certain Herr Weill already has the long knives out for me as it is. Thank God I can mostly avoid Hinds County (since I actually DO live in north MS).

Okay, composing my defense of Chris now. . . .

Kingfish said...

Kid, we don't like your kind. Go sit on that bench.

Anonymous said...

someoneinnorthms wrote: "Okay, composing my defense of Chris now. . . ."

I have no idea if that meant tongue-in-cheek or not, but either way, there is no defending ANY of the involved parties, Routh, Weill, Cox, the Supremes, etc., in this, just as there was no defending the public defender(s) or Weill in the past. The PDs are often marginally-competent and regardless of anything else, Routh should have recognized the court's decorum regardless of their thoughts on/about the person in the robe. Plus, he should have realized he was making an incredibly-weak legal argument. On the other hand, Weill regularly gets a little too full of himself. On the third hand, when a fellow attorney steps on their privates in open court, they ought to take some heat, so letting Routh cool his heels in jail for a few hours might have done him and others who might be tempted to follow his lead some good. And on the fourth hand, if the Supremes had lowered the boom on this kind of (mis)conduct from all sides a long time ago, there would be a lot less of it now. Justice Court judges, who are rarely attorneys, get lit up by the Supremes on a relatively regular basis, yet worse conduct/professionalism from judges that are fellow lawyers (who should know better and who have a much greater affect on the lives of "regular citizens) are regularly ignored until it reaches a point that it simply cannot be ignored any longer.

By way of example, the MS Bar and the MS Supreme Court has the nearly unique "distinction" of re-admitting an convicted, impeached ex-federal judge, Walter Nixon, to practice. Nixon is a MS lawyer who was appointed as a Federal Judge, convicted of lying to federal grand jury (he also lied to the FBI) in an influence case involving a business partner's drug-dealing son, sentenced to prison and refused to resign. He was then impeached (very rare for federal judges) and removed from the bench. MS disbarred him in 1990, but in 1993, they allowed him to be re-admitted and numerous MS lawyers, some of dubious character themselves, wrote him glowing letters. I guess ex-judges/DAs like Bobby Delaughter and Ed Peters can hope. Unfortunately, the average Mississippian likely cannot.

Anonymous said...

11:36, you start your story by stating "there is no defending any ...." and go on to name all those involved. But in your discussion you give no reason why Weill should not be defended for his action; instead you state that his action was appropriate and that Routh should have been sent to the dungeon for a few hours. You do state that in your opinion Weill does get a 'regularly gets a little too full of himself". While this may be true - and it is also true of damn near everybody I know that wears a robe in any and all the courts - it does not pass the test for not defending his action in this case. An action that you thought appropriate. Same could be said about your opening 'no defense' argument about the Supremes but yet feel that their finding seems to match your opinion about the facts in THIS case. Again, you take your general dislike for them as a group, presently and historically, to demean their ruling against Routh which it appears you totally agree with here.

I guess your opening statement just shows your general dislike for Weill and the MSSC, or maybe for all judges at every level.

someoneinnorthms said...

Anybody who is supports Weill on this "contempt" obviously never practiced law in a courtroom--and certainly not criminal defense.  I know that the MS Supreme Court ruled in his favor 9-0. There is no accounting for decisions of this sort. Any time I see a 9-0 decision I am reminded of the history, perhaps apocraphal, of Brown v. Board and the need for unanimity in a politically- and socially-significant case.

In this case, Weill is the police officer hiding in the woods behind a curve, running radar to catch someone driving 36 in a 35 MPH zone. Most normal judges ask the litigants and their lawyers if anything remains to be said before concluding a hearing. Most normal judges would let a lawyer finish his sentence if the lawyer asked to be heard after the judge abruptly concluded a hearing.  In fact, most normal judges would be happy that a lawyer would remind them if they left something critical out of a hearing. And, most normal judges would let a lawyer know, gently, if the lawyer were mistaken about whether the appropriate findings of fact were made.  Most normal judges would subject the State's evidence (DNA found at the scene) to the same level of scrutiny as they do the defendant's evidence. However, Herr Weill ain't no normal judge. 

Weill hates the defendants that show up in his courtroom. He hates the lawyers that defend them. He hates them because he's tired of crime. Or, he hates them because Jesus said he should. Or, he hates them just because reasons. I don't know exactly why he hates them. His disdain is apparent from everything that I have seen, read, or heard about him. He treats them as "others," not at all like he'd want his family members treated if similarly-situated, and most certainly NOT the way he would want to be treated if facing a criminal charge.

I wish there were a video of the incident that led to Chris' contempt citation. I have no inside knowledge and have not spoken to the parties. But, I suspect it went like this: when the possibility of bond revocation became apparent, Chris, standing with his client at a podium, whispered into her ear that she was going to jail and asked for something to tell the judge. She had her discharge paperwork and probably told Chris that it represented a medical diagnosis that required breast-feeding. Meanwhile, Chris missed whatever Herr Weill said about reasons for denying bond. When Chris mentioned the breastfeeding he was merely parroting what his client just told him. Because he missed the reasons, he asked Herr Weill why he was denying bond. His Majesty took umbrage, and WITHOUT EVEN ALLOWING CHRIS TO FINISH A SENTENCE, found him in criminal contempt. I would bet dollars to doughnuts that it was all a big misunderstanding that could have been handled without any problems at all if Herr Weill had a suitable judicial temperament. Judges should find ways to DE-escalate, not escalate. I think a clarifying sentence and quick admonition would have quietened Chris. Instead, Herr Weill found him driving 36 in a 35 and threw him in jail.

MAYBE, just barely maybe Chris could have handled himself in a manner that would have avoided the problem. However, it is a certainty that Herr Weill could have. He doesn't want to solve problems; he wants to throw people in jail, pure and simple.  He's not suited to be a judge.

Anonymous said...

1:17 - You must be a MS-educated lawyer. First, I am not against judges or lawyers in general, only specific bad examples. I count a fair number of them among my friends and have a great deal of respect for many I'd don't personally know. That said, a couple of points:

1) Judges are entitled and obligated to maintain order in their courtrooms and attorneys are obligated to respect the court regardless of their personal feelings toward the person wearing the robe. Likewise, judges are obligated to show proper and due respect to those before the court, lawyers or not. And none are entitled to show disrespect to the others based upon any (mis)conduct from anyone - "two wrongs equal two wrongs, not one right...".

2) If you haven't already, read the transcript at P19-20 as well as the Supremes "summary" of that exchange. First, this involved a capital offense and from the transcript, the death penalty was still on the table, so everyone, judge and both sides had a legal, ethical and arguably, a moral obligation to get it right at every step. It appears that Routh was under the impression he needed to get something on the record, perhaps unequivocally, perhaps as "an abundance of caution," perhaps mistakenly, but in any case, he seemed to be asking the court for specific findings. Weill, as was his right, told him he would hear nothing further and told Routh to sit down and be quiet. Routh did mildly persist and WHAM! contempt. If both had been "better" at their respective job, Weill would have allowed Routh to quickly make his point, and if it became clear Routh was merely attempting to whine about Weill's ruling, Weill could have told him enough was enough and anything further would be considered contempt. Simply put, all of this because a couple of guys ill-suited for their roles demonstrated they are ill-suited for their roles. As to the Supremes, their "summary" isn't really a fair summation - see words like "launched," etc. A "better" Court might have pointed out that while Routh was technically guilty of contempt, Weill was a bit too quick on the draw. Maybe offer some guidance rather than dash something off. Sometimes, even most times, proper judicial temperament is shown by the restrained use of judicial power rather than the unfettered (and ill-considered) use of it. Of course, a more knowledgeable attorney would have known his argument (at least then and there) had no merit.

So, no, I see nothing in this little drama to engender respect in any of the participants, and that includes the Supremes.

Anonymous said...

Wait a sec, someoneinnorthnms, I'm with you re: Weill's overreaction, but Routh's failure to pay attention at key times is completely on Routh. Now, if he had said something like, "Your Honor, I apologize - you may have addressed this, but I missed it..." and Weill had refused to at least hit the high points, that would be one thing, but from my read of the transcript, Routh was attempting to box Weill into something in his ruling and Weill overreacted. Weill's overreaction, even if Routh missed hearing something because the Def was whispering to him, doesn't mitigate that Routh should have known he wasn't going to get this gal bail then and there, if ever or from any judge. You've got a capital murder involving a person of dubious residency with a newborn baby, not to mention something about DNA on a dildo.

I stand by my position: no one involved in this side aspect, from the courtroom to the appellate court, did anything to engender respect.

someoneinnorthms said...

3:21 p.m., you and I are close on this issue, I think.

Of course Routh was trying to box in Herr Weill. That's what defense lawyers do--at least the good ones.

I think people fail to appreciate how young Chris is. That's not an excuse; it's an explanation. I realize that a lawyer is a lawyer is a lawyer. But being a public defender is FAST paced. It's especially difficult for a young lawyer. Chris reminds me of myself when I was younger. I was fortunate enough to have good judges who understood my youth and enthusiasm could co-exist with justice and decorum. I pray that Chris has learned some lessons here, but that's almost like saying a mouthy woman needs to learn how to keep her trap shut else she earns what she gets. It's my vague memory, and I may be wrong, that Chris was somewhat surprised by the bond issue, which means he had to wade in unprepared. Whatever the situation, it is difficult to tell a client that you aren't going to argue for their release on bail because that taints the relationship right from the start.

Your mentioning of the DNA is interesting for its juxtaposition against the evidence Chris asserted. Again, it's been a while since I read the transcript, but I don't remember any actual "evidence" being taken in the form of witnesses under oath or self-authenticating documents. So, two sides present bald assertions, and only one side has those assertions questioned by the trial judge. DNA evidence, and all voodoo/forensic science has been shown to be unreliable at times, and furthermore, DNA on a dildo--is that really strong evidence that somebody committed a capital murder? At most, it demonstrates that a person was at a place within a specific tine frame. Certainly not sufficient to deny bond, in my opinion. But, as we've seen, the State doesn't really have to do much in many courtrooms in this state, and certainly not in Herr Weill's.

I'm not saying Chris covered himself in glory, necessarily. He was slogging through a tough battle while pinned down in a trench from all sides. He did the best he could. The neutral arbitrator in the room chose to abdicate his neutrality and instead pick up arms against one side. I may be wrong, but that's how I see it.

Anonymous said...

someoneinnorthms said:

"3:21 p.m., you and I are close on this issue, I think."

I think we are close as to Weill's conduct in this particular issue, but I don't think we are all that close on the rest. As to Routh, I don't care if he is 12 years old, he has a MS Bar card (apparently, quite a feat for MS-educated JDs! [semi-sarcasm]) and holds himself out as a attorney and a public defender. While he might be excused a slim knowledge of the US tax code or securities laws, knowing not to poke a judge is babylawyering 101, so "youthful exuberance" doesn't cut it when a judge tells you to sit down and shut up.

As to Weill in general, I think calling him "Herr Weill" is over the line given the obvious implication of Nazism and nothing but ad hominem nonsense that diminishes your argument. He may be ill-suited for the bench, and I maintain that he is, but "ill-suited to be a judge" and "evil murderer" are two completely different things.

As to the DNA and the dildo, I just happened to see it in the transcript and it was mostly a humorous throwaway line. I don't recall any evidence actually admitted beyond the hospital discharge papers submitted by Routh, which got him in trouble with Weill when he mis-repped the contents. Those also go to negate your "Def whispering in his ear" defense of Routh - he submitted the forms that said plainly the baby could have formula or breast milk. Are you suggesting that a) he shouldn't have been familiar with his own submission, or b) if he had asked her for something to say and she said, "I'm the queen of Mars and I must free to meet the king of Venus or it'll be interplanetary war!," Routh should have made the "Star Wars" argument to the court?

The bottom line is that anyone with any sense knew this gal was a legit suspect (and almost certainly present at the crimes regardless of potential trial defense) in a capital crime, along with other crimes, and was a real flight risk. This thing went off the rails on PP19-20 of the transcript, when Routh was told to sit down and shut up, but he did not, so Weill totally overreacted and hit him with criminal contempt without the slightest warning.

That said, human beings are, well, human and even the best of us occasionally lose our cool or screw up when we know the proper course and conduct. If this had involved a couple of guys better-suited to their jobs, Routh would have humbly and sincerely apologized _to the court_ in open court and Weill would have graciously accepted it _on behalf of the court_ in open court. The problem, as I see it, is that Weill thinks he, Sandy Weill as a person/lawyer/alleged legal scholar, is who deserves the respect due the court and many of those before that court think of him as, well, "Herr Weill" and not Judge when he is on the bench. Both factions are totally wrong. And the whole thing sailed right past the Supremes, who were presented with a good opportunity to offer guidance and wholly failed to do so. See my first reply re: the overall quality of MS lawyers and therefore, the judges who come from them. And again, that is a general statement rather than a blanket statement - I would argue strongly that there are some "good" lawyers and therefore, judges, in and from MS.

Kingfish said...

I think it was a bond hearing.

Anonymous said...

On Judge Larry Primeaux's blog is this observation by the judge:

"I am totally comfortable with the fact that one side in nearly every case that I decide is convinced that I am: (a) a raving, total, lunatic; (b) an idiot who lacks common sense; (c) a gullible fool duped by the liars on the other side; (d) an ignoramus about the law; (d) “on the take” from the other side or from sinister, unknown vectors; or (e) any combination or all of the above."

This I am sure describes how Judge Weill feels. And in his case, A thru E above all post on this blog anonymously every time Weill's name surfaces.

Nobody can act like Routh did in Weill's court and get away with it. The Supremes had no choice but to come down on Weill's side because what they do not only affects Weill but all judges in the state. The judge is king in his/her court; all lawyers know this. Many judges would have jailed Routh for at least 48 hours.

Anonymous said...

9:26 mentions Judge Primeaux and his blog:

Funny you mention him and his blog. When I mentioned MS judges I have respect for, he came to mind as did that very post. I don't know but I don't see him jailing Routh or any other lawyer without at least giving him a warning. Of course, he is a chancellor, so his day-to-day stuff is different from Weill. Also, I suspect when he said "the other side...is convinced..." he meant the actual parties, not the their attorneys (well, 98% of the time, anyway). And I don't think Routh, Weill or the Supremes fall into Primeaux's (a)-(e) categories in this case. I will say that I have read other things from certain MS appellate judges, both current and no longer on either court (and in which I had/have absolutely no dog in the fight) that bordered on at least a couple of his categories. I did say their conduct in the matter indicates being ill-suited for their respective jobs. If you haven't already, read PP19-20 of the transcript. Routh's words didn't suggest anything "disrespectful" and certainly not disparaging but I agree that he should have done as the court instructed: sat down and shut up. However, Routh's failure doesn't excuse Weill's judicial "distemper" nor the Supremes' failure with/in its opinion.

I still haven't heard anything, here or anywhere else, that changes my mind: none of the players in this little drama look good.

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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
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