Stop feeding us lines, city leaders

Published 3:38 pm Thursday, March 1, 2007

Blaming the victim. Criminal defense attorneys can be excellent at this courtroom tactic.

All an attorney needs to do is plant a shadow of a doubt in one juror’s mind.

Close your eyes and you can almost hear the statements:

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“He shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”

“She knew better than to open that door.”

“After what he said to her, who wouldn’t be enraged?”

Using that measurement, the Natchez Mayor and Board of Aldermen would make even the best New York lawyer look like a rookie, fresh out of law-school.

Mayor Phillip West created the hazardous mess at the former Natchez Pecan Shelling Co. site a few weeks ago when he violated state regulations by tearing it down.

Days later, West alleged the true lawbreaker was the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the group that had set out stipulations on how the structure could be demolished. West said the MDAH was violating the spirit of the law.

Now, alderman are scratching their heads and saying the courts have tied their hands because they cannot clean up the mess the mayor’s wrecking crew made.

So here we sit, in the most beautiful and historic city in the state and we have a huge pile of rubble resting at one of the prettiest views of the river. And all our leaders can do is stand aghast and point fingers at others.

Amazingly, all of this rhetoric is enough to make a New York lawyer speechless and city taxpayers downright dumbfounded.