It’s clear Melton isn’t going to jail, but he should leave office

This should really be a short discussion. Another trial would be a waste of time and money.

After an acquittal in state court and last week’s mistrial in U.S. District Court, it’s time to accept the reality that Melton will not be convicted and will not be going to prison.

Now, let’s be clear. Melton has by no means been declared innocent. The evidence clearly suggest that Melton, while drinking Scotch and water, made an impulsive, late night decision to visit a duplex in northwest Jackson and directed a group of young men to destroy it.

The mayor’s justification was that the Ridgeway Street address was a “crack house,” even though Melton had been told that his tactic was not the lawful way to demolish structures in the city.

This is probably the most chilling effect: that law enforcement, pseudo or real, can arbitrarily declare someone’s property a drug house and just tear it down – without a warrant or anything close to due process.

And for any city’s chief executive to participate in something like this is just outrageous.

Still, with all of this, there should not be another trial – especially if Melton agrees to resign.

It’s really time to move on, and it would be impossible to do that with Melton in office.

Eric Stringfellow
Clarion Ledger
3/2/9