More on yesterday’s ruling from Judge Biggers in USA v. Scruggs (Northern Mississippi edition)

Scruggs undoubtedly was involved, in the Alabama case, in sending the Rigsby documents to Hood instead of returning them to the attorneys for the sisters’ former employers as ordered. But even with that case, some presume he must have had some grand, sophisticated insight into the law, and that his non-compliance was either legally permissible or not worth bothering such a figure about.

This reasoning is a mystery to me for a couple reasons. First, what evidence is there that smart people don’t do dumb things? In my observation, other than the truly and incorrigibly stupid, no group of people is so prone to dumbness as smart people. Second, merely because something is not sophisticated does not mean it will not work well and work better than something complicated. We are so inured to complex schemes like Enron and hiding the source of campaign contributions that we forget — when it comes to being crooked, simpler is usually better, less risky and easier to remember. Why involve some sheik from Saudi Arabia, a London solicitor living in his Mum’s basement and a couple former Congressmen to deliver a bushel of sweet potatoes? It’s better to keep it all in the family. Think of Scruggs’ statement a few years ago about the Magic Jurisdictions in Mississippi, where it’s all just a put-on, where justice is just a puppet show for the foolish and the gullible.

And people also ask why, why would he do it? To which I say, why does anyone do anything? Because you want to and you can.

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