TagMississippi

Worst Mayor in America: Jackson, Mississippi’s Mayor Frank

How “Mayor Frank” got away with tearing down an innocent person’s home, a completely unauthorized act of vigilantism, and other repeat violations of the law, all in the name of the “war on drugs.”

The duplex demolition, however, got Melton in more trouble than usual. The rental property Melton sent his army of young drug warriors to destroy was owned by a single mother who rented it to a young schizophrenic man with no history of drug-dealing. The district attorney charged-and a grand jury indicted-Melton and his two police bodyguards of multiple felonies, ranging from burglary to directing a minor to commit a felony. At the same time, the state attorney general charged Melton with violations of various gun safety laws as well , including wearing a weapon in church and carrying a concealed weapon on a university campus; Melton pled down to misdemeanors on those charges. Still, a notable achievement for one of the founders of “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.”

Melton and his defense team-led by a conservative former mayor of Jackson who is also suing the city in an annexation battle, and the attorney who defended Byron de la Beckwith (the man who murdered civil rights leader Medgar Evers)-ratcheted up the mayor’s paternalistic populist appeal by pushing the meme that the duplex destruction was part of the mayor’s passionate war on crime. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Melton’s people painted the place as a ‘crackhouse,’ and his antics little more than a creative effort at getting another drug dealer off the street.

Full Story: Reason.

How a Mississippi dentist may be sending innocent people to jail

But even in an already imprecise field, Dr. Michael West has taken forensic odontology to bizarre, megalomaniacal depths. West claims to have invented a system he modestly calls “The West Phenomenon. n it, he dons a pair of yellow goggles and with the aid of a blue laser, he says he can identify bite marks, scratches, and other marks on a corpse that no one else can see-not even other forensics experts.

Conveniently, he claims his unique method can’t be photographed or reproduced, which he says makes his opinions unimpeachable by other experts.

[…]

West has received his share of media scrutiny, including expos?s in Newsweek and on 60 Minutes. A 1994 article in the National Law Journal reported that when one defense attorney asked West on the stand about his rate of error, he replied that it’s “something less than my savior, Jesus Christ.”

[…]

After the media expos?s and persistent work of Holdridge, West resigned from two professional organizations, and was suspended for a year from another. … Nevertheless, the court found, Dr. West still possessed the “knowledge, skill, experience, training and education necessary to qualify as an expert in forensic odontology.”

Full Story: Reason.

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