Incredibly, even as the debate over the new certification bill played out over the last few weeks, and even after all that has come out about Hayne over the last two years, Hood’s office this past month has been prosecuting yet another case in which Hayne was brought in to overrule the opinions of another medical examiner.
Last week, a Lamar County, Mississippi jury acquitted Jennifer Wardle for the 2002 death of her then-boyfriend, James Neal May. Louisiana-based medical examiner Paul McGarry had ruled May’s death a suicide back in 2002. Hood’s office intervened, had May’s body exhumed, and brought Hayne in to take another look at the single gunshot wound to May’s head. Hayne deemed May’s death a homicide, Hood’s office indicted Wardle for murder, and then tried the case itself, unsuccessfully.
Hood’s continuing obstinacy in this mess is particularly damaging given his position as Mississippi’s chief law enforcement official. But the attorney general certainly isn’t alone. Mississippi has yet to take an honest assessment of just how much harm Hayne, West, and their allies may have done to the state’s justice system over the last 20 years. Perhaps that’s because just about everyone who might have the power to push for such an investigation has their own complicity in the matter to worry about.