Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Just A Reprimand?

The reality of our legal system is often surreal. 

In 1990, S.C. Rep. “Tee” Ferguson took a bribe from an undercover FBI agent, while Ferguson ran for an open judicial seat in South Carolina. A month later, Ferguson was elected without opposition.

He then took another bribe and then was sworn in as a judge. 

Later, after his conviction for corruption as well as pleading guilty to to three counts of possessing cocaine, he was sentenced to prison. 

More than a year after that the state Supreme Court issued a public reprimand. 

A public reprimand. He wasn't even disbarred. 

U.S. Attorney John Barton said of Ferguson: “How such a corrupt drug abuser got elected to the Legislature to begin with is beyond my comprehension. And then to have risen in the esteem of his peers to the point where he got elected to circuit court judge speaks sadly many volumes about the way government was conducted in South Carolina.”

Barton also said he had evidence that Ferguson intended to take bribes as a judge.

Again, the legal system determined his crimes only meritted a reprimand. What is wrong with our legal system? 

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