Feb. 13, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Book Reveals Flaws of Players in Bribery Case

File Photo
Mississippi attorney Richard Scruggs (left), seen with lobbyist John Raffaelli, is the focus of a book, “The Fall of the House of Zeus,” about his trial for attempted bribery of a judge.

Noticeably, some relevant characters refused to speak to Wilkie on the record,  including Lott, who resigned from the Senate in late 2007; Lackey, the FBI’s original informant; and P.L. Blake, a kind of behind-the-scenes power broker in state politics.

Wilkie was in the courtroom the day Scruggs was sentenced, and he said Scruggs nearly fainted as the judge lectured him about his crimes. According to Wilkie, the courtroom was filled with other lawyers who had come to see Scruggs knocked down a peg, in some measure of revenge for what they considered past injustices.

“There’s always going to be a faction of people in Mississippi who hate Scruggs and everything he and trial lawyers stand for, and some of them probably feel the portrait should be tougher than it was,” Wilkie said of his presentation of the Scruggs story. “I tried to put a human dimension on the story, but there’s a body of opinion that considers Scruggs evil incarnate.”

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