Did Hood destroy the Presumption of Innocence?

“It’s a clear violation of his oath as attorney general, as an elected public official and as a member of the Mississippi Bar.  He has all but ensured that my client cannot receive a fair trial in the state of Mississippi. He has not only eroded the presumption of innocence — attendant to all those who stand accused — he destroyed it.”

Those words are about Attorney General Jim Hood, spoken by someone who according to press reports supported Hood’s reelection and even contributed to his campaign.

It seems Jim Hood’s campaign commercial said a defendant murdered someone, a defendant who has yet to go to trial.

The defendant’s lawyer is understandably upset.

“I supported Jim Hood’s candidacy,” Alexander said, “but Jim Hood has run roughshod over my client and has trampled his rights, to include the right to a presumption of innocence.”

“This is really way bigger than Mr. Manieri and way bigger than Attorney General Jim Hood. It is about all people who stand accused, and the most fundamental element of the presumption of innocence.

“For the top law enforcement officer, the top prosecutor, the top attorney in the state to have such callous disregard is absolutely unethical, outrageous and unconstitutional.”

Alexander said his options include filing a complaint against Hood with the Mississippi Bar Association or the Mississippi Ethics Commission, or asking the state Legislature to impeach Hood.

“When you take an oath to uphold the Constitution, it really means something,” Alexander said.

“Jim Hood distorted the truth for his own political gain and used non-facts and untruth to trample on the rights of my client. As an elected official, he is obligated to act with fairness, integrity and trustworthiness. It is imperative that this not go unstated.”

That’s right, he mentioned an option of asking Hood to be impeached.

As Majority in Mississippi reported last month, this is not Hood’s first guilty unless proven innocent campaign moment. He also named Entergy as a corporate wrong doer in a statewide campaign commercial. Hood has gone after Entergy but has yet to prove wrong doing in court.

Either Jim Hood thinks it is OK to pronounce guilt with himself as a judge without regard to the court, or he has demonstrated reckless behavior by the state’s top prosecutor.

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