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Unformatted text preview: re difficult to find impartial jurors. He asked the Court to summon at least a hundred prospective jurors. What he didn't say in writing, but what everybody knew, was that the Padgitts would have a harder time intimidating one hundred than forty. Lucien Wilbanks objected strenuously and demanded a hearing. Judge Loopus said one was not necessary and ordered a larger jury pool. He also took the unusual step of sealing the list of prospective jurors. Baggy and his drinking buddies, and everyone else around the courthouse, were shocked by this. It had never been done. The lawyers and litigants always got a complete list of the jury pool two weeks before trial. The order was generally viewed as a major setback to the Padgitts. If they didn't know who was in the pool, then how could they bribe or frighten them? Gaddis then asked the Court to have the jury summons mailed, not personally served by the Sheriff's office. Loopus liked this idea too. Evidently he was well aware of the cozy relationship between the Padgitts and our Sheriff. Not surprisingly, Lucien Wilbanks screamed over this plan. In his rather frantic responses he made the point that Judge Loopus was treating his client differently and unfairly. Reading his filings, I was amazed at how he could rant so clearly for so many pages. Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html It was becoming obvious that Judge Loopus was determined to preside over a secure and unbiased trial. He had been the District Attorney back in the 1950s before ascending to the bench, and he was known for his pro-prosecution leanings. He certainly appeared to have little concern for the Padgitts and their legacy of corruption. Plus, on paper (and certainly in my paper), the case against Danny Padgitt appeared to be airtight. On Monday, June 15, amid great secrecy, the Circuit Court clerk mailed a hundred summonses for jury duty to registered voters all over Ford County. One arrived in the rather busy mailbox of Miss Callie Ruffin, and when I arrived for lunch on Thursday she showed it to me. - --- In 1970, Ford County was 26 percent black, 74 percent white, with no fractions for others or those who...
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