"Our government... teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."
Justice Louis Brandeis
On August 1, 2002, Nancy Swan spoke to a packed house of thousands of professionals at a special session of the Mississippi legislature and told her story. She told that her case had been so corrupted "it could not be heard in Mississippi courts."
Two months later, on October 9, 2002, the Associated Press reported that the U. S. Department of Justice was investigating Paul Minor, Nancy's former attorney, and Harrison County Circuit Court judge John Whitfield, Nancy's former judge, on charges of bribery, fraud, and racketeering. It was Nancy Swan's discovery about loans to judges, revealed in one of her article series, that had sparked the investigation.
Six months after her speech to the legislature the Mississippi Supreme Court revised the Mississippi Code of Judicial Conduct. Five years later, Mr. Minor and former Judge John Whitfield were convicted by a jury for their part in a judicial bribery scheme and sentenced to ten years in a federal prison. Both men are appealing their convictions.
Nancy Swan spoke on Capital Hill at the 2008 Citizen’s Forum on Judicial Accountability, and told the story of the five judges in her case. She has been interviewed by the Biloxi Mississippi Sun Herald and the Jackson Mississippi, Clarion Ledger interviewed Nancy for background information.
Nancy Swan writes articles and speaks to organizations and the community to urge greater oversight and transparency in judicial accountability. She has been interviewed by magazine editors, news reporters and editors, television personalities and on radio, and has been quoted on organization websites and in national press releases. She advocates to:
She serves on the Strategic Planning and Management Board for the National Forum on Judicial Accountability (NFOJA), which will be holding state and Community Forums on Judicial Accountability.
As a human rights activist and member of Amnesty International, the author was selected as state delegate leader.
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