Earning His Letters: Taking Stock of the Support for Scruggs

Among the writers: Tobacco whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand, portrayed in the movie “The Insider” by Russell Crowe; former 60 Minutes producer, Lowell Bergman, portrayed in the movie “The Insider” by Al Pacino; yachtsman Dennis Connor; Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat and former Mississippi governor William Winter.

A sampling:

Khayat: He has much to offer society and is a public-spirited person. Furthermore, it would appear to be a waste of taxpayers’ money. Punishment is relative to the individual. A man such as Dick has been amply punished by the loss of his profession and his public stature. . . It is my belief that any time he spends being incarcerated is an absolute waste of a great deal of talent and ability.

Bergman: Without Mr. Scruggs, the revelations that appeared in court proceedings and the media about the tobacco industry, as well as the unprecedented settlements, simply would not have happened.

Wigand: When I first learned of the issue that has caused Dickie’s current situation, I was shocked as well as others that know or have worked with him. How could a man with such a strong moral fiber err like this? . . . He is a good man, an intrinsically honest lawyer, and a true friend who has made a mistake.

Not all are positive, though. According to folo, a handwritten letter retired Oxford police officer explains that this is not a case where the defendants were economically or otherwise disadvantaged, and states how serious the crime is.

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