2010 Archives

Judge sent a clear message to Don Hill, but did he hear it?


The following is from a column by James Ragland that appeared in the March 3, 2010, edition of The Dallas Morning News. SMU Law Professor Fred Moss provided expertise for this column.

March 5, 2010

By James Ragland

She isn't done yet.

But so far, U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn has handed down justifiably tough sentences in Dallas' biggest public-corruption trial ever.

By now, it should be vividly clear to everyone sitting on the edge of this active volcano that Lynn, who aptly described the shakedown scandal as "sordid and tawdry," is out to send a stern and sober message.

I get it.

I'm just not sure all of the defendants do.

"One of the things that the judge wanted to do was make examples of them, and maybe deter a few people who might be tempted to do it," said Southern Methodist University law professor emeritus Fred Moss, a former federal prosecutor.

"And [she wanted] to let the public know that this sort of violation of public trust and abuse of office would not be tolerated."

To that end, you can understand why Don Hill, a lawyer with mayoral ambitions, caught the brunt of the robed one's judicial wrath.

Read the full story.

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