Public access to Scruggs letters sought by Sun Herald

The Sun Herald is asking a federal judge for public access to letters he has received about attorney Dickie Scruggs and two other lawyers soon to be sentenced for their part in a conspiracy to bribe a state court judge.

U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers Jr. is reviewing the letters, along with presentence reports completed on Scruggs and two other attorneys from the Scruggs Law Firm in Oxford – Sidney Backstrom and his son, Zach Scruggs.

Biggers said in the sentencing order that the defendants solicited “numerous persons to write letters to the court requesting lenience for the defendants and making observations about the defendants’ character.”

The letters were sent directly to the judge and have not been entered in the court file, a standard practice in criminal cases. The newspaper argues that the letters are of “legitimate public interest.”

Sun Herald
6/18/8