Justice for Sale as the End Draws Near

Published: Jan. 8, 2009 at 9:42 PM CST|Updated: Jun. 29, 2009 at 3:38 PM CDT
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By Dennis Smith, News Director           
dennis@wlbt.net

His fall from grace began some 30 years ago.

Hinds County D.A. Ed Peters was a good prosecutor.

But, at some point the rules of law started bending.

In the early 70's, the Attorney General's Organized Crime strike force sent an undercover former mobster Fred Baron, or "Fatman", to find corruption in Mississippi.

It led him to Jackson businessman Leo Hall who had ties to the Dixie mafia.

Baron said Hall led the Fatman to Ed Peters through JPD Vice Lt. John Dan Moulder.

Baron said Moulder would fix it with Peters to let the Fatman bring in prostitutes to Jackson.

Peters agreed to a lie detector test.

It showed he was telling some truths and evading others.

Time passed.

Meanwhile, Hall was killed in a hit.

Peters was indicted for extortion but got off.

Years later in the mid 80's Peters denied taking payoffs from lawyers to fix criminal cases.

He also denied drug use.

Now, his friend and former Assistant D.A., Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter, is under a legal cloud after the feds say Peters conspired with now convicted lawyers Dickie Scruggs and Joey Langston to get DelLughter to rule in their client's favor.

Peters pockets a million bucks for his effort but ended up giving what was left to the Feds.

He agrees to drop his law license this week.

But does he also agree to sell out DeLaughter?

Baron, the undercover man, told me years ago. "There's no honor among thieves."

How very true and how very sad.