This righteous article neglects to mention that it wasn't just the Bureau of Prisons that showed heinous "callousness" toward Minor, when he asked to be permitted to attend his wife's funeral.
It was also--indeed, primarily--Eric Holder who said no, claiming, falsely, that his hands were tied, the BoP having ruled. Holder has the power to overrule that office, but pusillanimously chose not to do it (as he would certainly have done if Minor were a fundraiser for the GOP).
Elusive Justice Overdue in the Case of Political Prisoner Paul Minor
Posted: June 18, 2009 04:16 AM
It is time for the Obama Justice Department to reverse one of the most egregiously political persecutions of the Bush era -- Paul Minor's bogus conviction on trumped up charges of public corruption "bribery" despite a total lack of evidence that his role as the top funder of Democratic candidates in Mississippi netted him anything other than misery and a harsh prison sentence.
Attorney General Eric Holder stated recently that "elections have consequences." That premise should apply not just to President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court and appointment of new U.S. Attorneys, as Holder mentioned. It should compel a swift review of the unjust prosecutions of prominent Democrats targeted by the Bush Justice Department.
Minor has endured a cruel and distressing ordeal since his 2007 conviction, spending the last two years locked up in prison while his wife of four decades battled terminal brain cancer and recently passed away in April. Minor's repeated requests to visit with his dying wife in her final days - and to attend her funeral service where he planned to deliver a eulogy honoring her memory and their 40 years of marriage - were all callously denied by the Bureau of Prisons, despite the black letter law requiring the release on bail pending appeal of anyone, as here, raising such "substantial questions" on appeal. Since it is highly unusual for an appeals court to seek further clarification after hearing oral arguments in a case, Minor obviously cleared the bar by a mile in presenting compelling arguments to the court regarding his botched prosecution.
The court should recognize the folly of the trial judge's improper jury instructions and subsequent misuse of the bribery statutes to convict and sentence Minor to 11 years in the Pensacola federal prison camp.
Nothing will bring his wife Sylvia back, but freeing Paul Minor now and reviewing his case is the least that Attorney General Eric Holder can do - as the Obama administration recently did in the cases of former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens and other botched Republican prosecutions. It is time to right the wrongs committed by the overzealous, partisan U.S. attorneys who brought shame and disgrace to the Justice Department under George W. Bush.