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June 27, 2014

Tea Party Leader Arrested in Connection with Taking Picture of Thad Cochran's Wife Dies in Apparent Suicide

This was not the blogger who actually took the photographs, but a Tea Party leader who was also arrested, on State claims of a "conspiracy" to do something that isn't illegal.

As I've mentioned, I do not see how any of the alleged "conspirators" in this matter could be charged with some major crime for this. This sort of thing -- one of those things People Don't Like but which is so minor or random that no one ever bothered to write a law forbidding it -- is either simply legal whether you like it or not, or, at most, is punished under one of those minor and vague forbiddances, like Disorderly Person.

If a criminal law is intended to be vague and permit the prosecutors and cops wide latitude in determining whether a crime has been committed, the punishment must be minor.

The State cannot be empowered to claim that things it never got around to outlawing are serious crimes, or further empowered to launch a wide-ranging conspiracy investigation over something which, in the end, is either straight-up legal or else a misdemeanor handled with three hours in county and then a sentence of time served.

But down in Mississippi they don't see it that way, so they charged this guy with conspiracy to commit the felony of "exploiting a vulnerable adult," which, as I read the law, is chiefly concerned with swindling money from those with diminished capacity.

And apparently now he's committed suicide. I wouldn't draw a direct moral line between the two; people who commit suicide usually have a strong bent in that direction to start with.

But still, this is ugly stuff, not just the suicide but the rush of the State to protect one of its high ranking members from challenge, and will feed a venomous narrative for years.

The body of attorney Mark Mayfield was found Friday morning in the garage of his two-story, brick home in a gated community outside Jackson. A gun was found nearby, Ridgeland Police Chief Jimmy Houston said.

Houston says Mayfield had been shot, and a suicide note was found at the scene.

"Everything we see so far, this appears to be a suicide," Houston said.

The governor, Phil Bryant, said he was saddened to lose "a friend."

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posted by Ace at 01:23 PM

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