We have read and re-read and then read again the transcript of the initial hearing held on Oct. 4th for the eleven who were arrested and charged in what the government claims was a vote-buying scheme over legislation to allow an election on gambling in Alabama. We wanted to confirm what we thought was said at the hearing.
What those who were there witnessed appears to us to be a setup already in motion. We have all grown up believing that courts and judges should be fair. What Montgomery and Alabama witnessed on Oct. 4, 2010 in a courtroom in the Middle District of Alabama was a lynching of the Rule of Law.
It was a hearing to determine the conditions of bond for the eleven or if they would be released pending trial. As we reviewed the transcript it became more and more apparent that the Magistrate Judge and the prosecutor were carrying out a coloquy that appeared to be one of collusion instead ot conducting a fair hearing.
Moreover the Magistrate Judge, Terry F. Moorer, and the prosecutor, Louis V. Franklin, are good friends, served for many years together in the U.S. Attorney's office and have attended social functions together.
In fact Moorer came to Franklin's defense several years back when Franklin was the lead prosecutor in the Don Siegelman case and speculation of political motivation arose.
Said Moorer: "Louis doesn't have an axe to grind. I look at the newspaper and these allegations that there are political motivations for this, that or the other…I can't think of a more apolitical guy than Louis Franklin."
We believe some hard questions need to be addressed to Magistrate Judge Moorer, who presided at the hearing. Here is what we have asked Judge Moorer to explain.
1. WHY HAVE YOU PLACED SPEECH conditions on these defendants, prohibiting them from talking to any elected office holder in Alabama without recording the conversation, a condition which severely hampers most of them in the conduct of their business activities? Does the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States not trump that requirement? Why did you add additional speech restrictions on Mr. Coker and Sen. Ross, which virtually shuts down their ability to earn a living?
2. WHY HAVE YOU PLACED special conditions on Mr. McGregor different from the conditions of the other defendants in this matter, conditions which restrict his movement and require him to wear a monitoring device? And by the way, why was the monitoring device already in the courtroom? Had his restrictions been decided before he could be heard?
3. WHY DID YOU INDICATE in the hearing of Oct. 4, 2010 that you had been pre-inclined to detain Mr. McGregor even after U.S. Attorney Franklin told you the government saw no need to detain him or any of the other defendants?
4. WHY DID YOU STATE that the purpose of the Oct. 4 hearing was "to determine" whether or not each defendant should be released on bond or detained, when at the same hearing you stated that it took Mr. McGregor's attorney, Mr. Gray, to "talk me out of holding a detention hearing" on him? This indicates you had pre-determined that you would detain Mr. McGregor or at the very least, hold a detention hearing which would require him to spend at least some time in jail. Is that correct?
5. YOU STATED ON PAGE 43 of the transcript that Mr. Franklin had asked that Mr. McGregor be placed on electronic monitoring, yet he gave no reason other than to say he felt the U.S. Attorney's office would "be more comfortable" if that were done. When, may I ask, has "more comfortable" been cited as a reason to require electronic monitoring? I am aware that you and Mr. Franklin worked together for many years in the U.S. Attorney's office. Have you ever had an ex parte conversation with Mr. Franklin at which time he suggested any condition of probation for Mr. McGregor or any of the other defendants in this case?
6. DID YOU HAVE ANY EX PARTE conversations with anyone in the U.S. Attorney's office in this matter and if so, to whom and about what?
7. AT THE HEARING ON OCT. 4 you called to the stand Keith Baker, one of the FBI agents who arrested Mr. McGregor and who alleges that Mr. McGregor made a comment to him that he (Mr. Baker) was making the biggest mistake of his life because Mr. McGregor believed himself to be innocent.
8. THE FBI AGENT, Mr. Baker, in his testimony on Page 20 of the transcript was asked by you: "Did Mr. McGregor know who you were prior to your appearing at his home?" Mr. Baker replied: "Not to my knowledge."
9. ON PAGE 32 OF the transcript Mr. Franklin asks Mr. Baker this question: "Do you know how Mr. McGregor knows you?" Mr. Baker's answer was: "I have an idea. Yes sir." Then Mr. Franklin asks him to share his knowledge about that with the court. Mr. Baker's answer as to how Mr. McGregor knows him was: "There was an investigation I was involved in that centered around Mr. McGregor prior to this one."
10. SO AN FBI AGENT testifies before you first that he did not believe Mr. McGregor knew who he was prior to the arrest at Mr. McGregor's home, then later on the same day testifies that Mr. McGregor did know who he was and cited the reason.
Isn't such conflicting testimony called perjury Judge Moorer, and if so,why wasn't Mr. Baker's testimony at least deemed suspect?