5th Circuit denies Dickie Scruggs' appeal

By Patsy R. Brumfield / Daily Journal

NEW ORLEANS – A 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decision today sends Richard “Dickie” Scruggs’ case back to North Mississippi for action.
This morning the New Orleans court affirmed his 2009 guilty plea and conviction to attempting to improperly influence a circuit judge presiding over a legal-fees lawsuit against him and others.
The court sent the Scruggs appeal back to Senior U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson’s court for the case’s next phase.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Scruggs will attempt to get his case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which earlier this year denied his son Zach’s conviction appeal.
Scruggs still has some part of his 2009 sentence to serve, and Davidson allowed him to go free from prison on bond until his appeals issues were settled.
He’d already completed his prison term on a 2008 bribery case aimed at Circuit Judge Henry Lackey of Calhoun City.
This second guilty plea dealt with the government’s allegations he sought to bribe then-Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter when he suggested his help with a federal judgeship for the Hinds County judge.
Today, the 5th Circuit acknowledged that offer was good enough to constitute a bribe. Scruggs insisted it was political speech and not a crime.
• Watch DJournalnow for details as they become available.