400 letters written to judge on case

Noticeably absent are letters from Scruggs’ brother-in-law, former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott; former Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore; and Scruggs’ friend and best-selling novelist John Grisham.

Scruggs began his legal career when William Winter recruited him into Winter’s law firm. Their relationship has been strong ever since, Winter said in his letter.

“I know how devoted he is to his wonderful family. I know of his loyalty and generosity to his friends.” Winter wrote, “I make these observations purely out of my genuine interest in and concern for a long-time friend who has made a grievous mistake. I hope that they will be considered appropriate and helpful.”

As a ninth-grader in Pascagoula, Scruggs forged a lifelong friendship with Khayat, who is from Moss Point. Khayat, in his letter, noted Scruggs’ unrecognized generosity towards a stranger, Johnny Williams.

Faced with a life-threatening illness, Williams was flown in Scruggs’ jet for help.

“Johnny, like many of the beneficiaries of Dick’s generosity, was a virtual stranger to him,” Khayat wrote.

“A man who is willing to help strangers is a man with depth and decency.”

Khayat closed his letter saying, “It is my belief that any time he spends being incarcerated is an absolute waste of a great deal of talent and ability. He has much to offer society and is a public-spirited person. Furthermore, it would appear to be a waste of taxpayers’ money. Punishment is relative to the individual. A man such as Dick has been amply punished by the loss of his profession and his public stature.”

Scruggs is one of Ole Miss’ largest donors.

Clarion Ledger
6/27/8