Corrupting the hand that feeds you

Scruggs’ case is fundamentally different from suddenly discovering that your childhood baseball hero uses steroids or that your favorite pop star lip syncs the words to all her songs. Scruggs didn’t just fudge the rules; he outright violated a code of ethics with roots stretching back further than the founding of our nation.

Many letters to the court requesting leniency for Scruggs claimed that putting him in jail for an extended period of time would waste his considerable talent. We agree. Judge Biggers didn’t decide to waste Scruggs’ talent when he sentenced him to the maximum sentence possible, however; Dickie Scruggs chose to do so when he attempted to bribe the very institution in which he had demonstrated and developed such talent.

In the end, that is perhaps the most tragic fact of all: that Scruggs had so much and gave so much to this university and community and yet sold himself out for so little.

Ultimately, Scruggs became emblematic of the very system of greed and corruption against which he was supposed to be fighting. That is why, while seeing Dickie Scruggs go to jail may break the collective heart of Mississippi, his sentence was justified.

Daily Mississippian Editorial