The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the sentences of two Mississippi judges and a lawyer in a bribery case that has shaken the state’s legal community.
The Fifth Circuit agreed with the lower court’s sentences of former judges Wes Teel and John Whitfield and plaintiff lawyer Paul Minor. (Read the opinion here.)
Minor allegedly gave personal guarantees for loans to the judges in exchange for favorable court decisions. In 2007, Minor was convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to 11 years in prison. In June, he was resentenced to eight years behind bars because the circuit court threw out some of the bribery convictions in 2009. The judges were also resentenced to shorter terms, according to a report in the Associated Press. The Fifth Circuit decision upholds those sentences.
The defendants said there were no strings attached to the loans — Minor was merely helping friends.
Teel was released from prison last September. Whitfield is scheduled to be released in June 2013 and Minor in August 2013, according to the AP.