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Sunday, December 9, 2007

Megan Williams Update: Three Ring Circus Adds Fourth Ring

Symphony is on hiatus this week ( girl stay off this internet and hit those books), but she sent me this link with an update in the Megan Williams case out of West Virginia.

Now for a hot minute, we've been asking who is looking out for Megan. In out last update, the prosecutor in the case was asking for a court appointed guardian for Megan because they continued to have her give media interviews recounting the facts in the case, a HUGE problem come trial time because I can promise you the defense attorneys are reading and watching every word.

Prosecutor Backs Off of Request for Guardian

Well the prosecutor backed off of his motion to have a guardian appointed ( I don't think he should have) since the family has agreed to not do any additional interviews, but this was not before Megan taped a show with Montel Williams where he promised to help Megan get her GED, give her a laptop computer, and contribute to a fund so she could attend college. SOURCE. The defense team has to be loving this.

Al Sharpton to Rally in Charleston, West Virginia

Now the last time there was a Megan Williams rally, he was announced, but did not show. Well Malik Shabazz wanted to guarantee that the good Rev. Shows up this time so he made Sharpton a keynote speaker:
On Dec. 18, Rev. Sharpton and I will be in Charleston, and we�ll be co-keynoting a rally at First Baptist Church for Megan Williams,� Shabazz said, assuring that unlike the Nov. 3rd march and rally at the State Capitol when Sharpton, who was billed to speak but did not show, will appear this time.SOURCE
If this wasn't so tragic, it would be funny. So are they saying Sharpton didn't appear because he didn't get top billing? I'm confused? Actually I am not.

Local DA and State Attorney General Battle over Who Will Prosecute Case

I've been willing to give the local prosecutor the benefit of the doubt up til' now, but this was just a bonehead move. The local DA asked for an official opinion from the AG's office as to whether the alleged acts committed against Megan fell under the WV hate crimes laws.
However the Logan County prosecutor has been noncommittal on the hate crimes issue, particularly after federal authorities refused to be involved.

Abraham, in a move many saw as opting for political cover, instead formally asked the state Attorney General�s Office for a legal opinion on whether West Virginia�s hate crimes statute applied in the Williams case.

Abraham said if he decides to apply the charges, the attorney general�s opinion would hold more weight in court.
Now this was a blatant attempt to get political cover from the AG's office and an abdication of prosecutorial discretion so the local DA deserves to be dinged for this. The AG wisely told the local DA. "You know the law, interpret it ya' dadgum self":
But in a move that surprised, angered and embarrassed Abraham, state AG Darrell McGraw refused to issue an opinion, saying that the Logan prosecutor knows the law and is qualified to make his own decisions.

"Mr. Abraham is trying to avoid making the political, tough decision," a spokesperson for AG McGraw told The Charleston Gazette. "We have no beef with the prosecutor in Logan County. But it is not our role to do what he has asked. It's his role. ... We have many times been involved with controversial issues."

"He is as capable of making the determination of what the law is as the attorney general in this context," the AG�s spokesperson continued. "He is a lawyer and he is an elected official. "He has to make those difficult decisions and not put it on the Attorney Generals Office."

A furious Abraham, who got the bad news in what he called a "half-assed letter,".
SMH. I agree with the AG on this one. You went to law school just like he did. Criminal law is actually ( TO ME) one of the most straight forward areas of practice. You either got the elements or you don't.

Megan's Spokesperson Upset that the NAACP Isn't Publicly Supporting Him- Welcome to the Club Buddy

On this one I have to side with the NAACP and the Black Ministerial Alliance. They recognize foolishness when they see it walking through the door and they know more about local political realities than Shabazz, a lawyer, who sees nothing wrong with repeatedly having the prosecution's star witness tell her story over and over again:
Beyond the handful of local Black leaders who stood with Megan Williams during the Nov. 3rd march and rally at the state Capitol, Shabazz says he hasn't heard from the local or state NAACP, or the Black Ministerial Alliance, two of the major groups who opposed his involvement in the case. Given the current controversy concerning the case, Shabazz says the local leadership needs to understand that now, more than ever, this is all about getting justice for Megan Williams, and nothing else[IS IT? You sure it is not about YOU?]. "They clearly see that there are issues around this case they need to stand up for," Shabazz said, "whether they choose to stand with me or not." SOURCE

Oh welcome to the club, you'll get over it!

This Is Pitiful

This whole sordid affair is just pitiful. You got Black ministers battling. Al Sharpton refusing to show up in WV unless he is the star attraction. Megan going on a press tour and being lavished with gifts that she WILL be cross examined on. Not to mention the jury pool is being tainted by all of this foolishness. The local DA is clearly letting politics enter into his case with this unnecessary request for political cover from the AG and now they are battling over the case and then to top it off, you got Shabazz trying to evoke sympathy because the other members of the CRIC (civil rights industrial complex) don't want to play in his sandbox. Can somebody tell me what the SECOND rally is for again other than irritating the HELL out of the jury pool? The jury pool, y'all remember them? The folks that will ultimately decide this case no matter what the defendants are charged with.

You can read our previous Megan Williams coverage here.