DOCUMENT: Stupid, Crime

Lawyer Jailed Over Pledge Refusal

Mississippi judge hits attorney with contempt charge

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Pledge Refusal

OCTOBER 7--A Mississippi judge yesterday jailed a lawyer who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in his courtroom.

Attorney Danny Lampley, 49, was taken into custody Wednesday morning after Chancellor Talmadge Littlejohn cited him for criminal contempt of court for failing to recite the 31-word pledge at the outset of the morning’s proceedings at the Lee County courthouse.

An October 6 order signed by Talmadge notes that Lampley was being charged for his “failure to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance as ordered.” Lampley, the judge added, “shall purge himself of said criminal contempt…by standing and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in open court.”

Lampley, pictured in the mug shots at right, was jailed for nearly five hours before Littlejohn ordered his release so that the lawyer could be present for a “previously set hearing before the Court.” The attorney, no longer in stripes, returned to the Tupelo courthouse after being sprung from jail.

It is unclear whether Lampley, who does not believe citizens are required to recite the pledge, will again be sanctioned by Littlejohn if he takes a pass on the pledge. (2 pages)

Comments (72)

To the Christians FOR the pledge: Francis Bellamy, the guy that wrote it, said Jesus was a Socialist. He was kicked out of his own church for his nutty rewrite of the bible. Kill the pledge. Just because the words "Under God" are used, doesn't mean it should be upheld as something great. If you want the pledge, go ahead, but make sure to do the Bellamy salute to it too. The Nazis sure loved it when they adopted it.. The pledge is the most nonconservative garbage we have in our system.
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”- S. Lewis It's here!
Nice try but the true quote is "...if fascism came to America it would come wrapped in the flag and whistling 'The Star Spangled Banner.'"
Great, a bunch of over-zealous Christians have taken over this discussion...I'm surprised you would even understand the type of subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) sarcasm of the Smoking Gun! Who gives a crap whether you beieve or don't believe in has nothing to do with the story. People just use this venue as another chancve to add their twisted interpretation of someone else's interprestation of a fairy tale (read Bible) get a clue, it is a set of parables to teach ethics to the unethical - NOTHING MORE!! As for the lawyer and judge, just another example of egos running wild under color of authority. Freaking judge had to release him to continue the court proceedings??? NOW THAT'S FUNNY!!!
I believe it's time for us to start separating our selves from those in society that are trying to change this country from a democratic republic to a socialist, marxist, communist society. We must start promoting our founding fathers christian/jewish beliefs so not to lose all the laws that come with strong Christian faith. No matter how bad they want to reject it lets push to keep it above all!
The U.S. is a "Constitutional Republic"...not a democratic one...they just ignore the constitution. ...and the dumb-masses [say it slowly...] were never taught the truth about the constitution in the government run daycare, er, I mean schools.
I agree with the posting...'.......a president can order a doctor to perform an abortion, but a judge can't order a lawyer to say the pledge".....CRAP, CRAP, CRAP.
As a healthcare professional, which I assume you ARE NOT..The President nor any other federal authority, CANNOT under the law, require ANY physician to perform abortions. That is the physician's CHOICE whether to perform that procedure or not. IN NO STATE is it required that ANY physician perform an abortion on demand.
what is crap is this comment! Whether or not you say the pledge is a personal choice, just like prayer or your religious preference.
This judge not only violated the attorney's constitutional rights, but found him to be in criminal contempt, and the gave him a purge clause. IT IS A LEGAL IMPOSSIBILITY TO PURGE YOURSELF OF A CRIMINAL CONTEMPT. The judge ought to be taken out to the center of the town square and beaten mercilessly and sent back to law school, or, be forced to read every code section in Mississippi law.
Our federal government is introducing 'military personnel voting by email'. Wonder who is in charge of this program, ACORN? Sounds like a system just begging for voter fraud.
Interesting how those who support the lawyers exercise of his Constitutional right are branded as dirty liberal socialists. You do realize the judges trampling of an individual's rights is the very essence of socialism, -that you are so patriotically proclaiming your support of. This country is founded on individual rights - even the ones you dont like. Do you want the government more or less involved in your life? In this case, the Judge (the government) unlawfully involved himself in this attorneys (individuals) life. Who are you going to support? I am a lawyer, for over a decade in the Deep South, and I have never heard , nor heard of, the Pledge of Allegiance being recited in any courtroom.
I am most certainly not a s**tkicker, although I have kicked my share of cowpaddies out of the way while going to my favorite fishing hole next to Eagle Lake. I was born and raised in Mississippi, I have my J.D. and two Masters of Law and teach Law at the number 1 school in the nation. Despite a dismal education from one of the worst educational systems in the U.S., I have succeded, and enjoy telling people that I grew up in the Great Magnolia State. They always respond with a look as though, that's impossible, noone can be this educated and come from the hills, valleys, and rivers that make up this beautiful State.
You should find a paralegal to write your posts for you because your grasp of spelling and English grammar are severely lacking...and I do believe this site uses a spell check algorithm. You do though have good penmanship. :)
Weird that a 13yr old girl can have an abortion without parental notification but can't buy a pepsi in school... Weird that Westboro Baptist church has freedom of speech to picket a soldier's funeral but kids can't sing Silent Night... Weird that the President of the USA can force a doctor to preform an abortion, yet a can't judge can't require a lawyer to recite the pledge in court... Just saying.
No president in the USA can require a physician to perform an abortion...I have no idea of where you got such an idiotic statement. Physicians are not required to perform ANY medical procedure (and this is backed up by US Supreme Court decisions), that clash with their own personal or religious beliefs. No judge in any court can order the same time, stick with what you know, and this subject ain't it.
Weird that you use very poor examples.....Just saying.
Wow.....this is soooooo funny. This was a set-up for the media, to get people on board with the destruction of American principles. And they played you like a Stradivarius........and the majority follow the carrot on a stick. Sheep.......put your heads back down !!!.... Who coined the phrase "Useless Eaters"....maybe he was right ?
It happened in Mississippi, so who really gives a shiat. They are all banjo playing shiatkickers down there anyway. This country is great, but people like you make it look like it sucks. you should probably be deported.
@JimmmyTheKnife....There are NO "Kingdoms of Judges" in the USA - We are a REPUBLIC!!!
Throw the goddamn judge behind bars....This is a court - NOT a church or some other event!!! And ray88ss...Come out of the "Twilight Zone"...The US Constitution is still the governing authority of this country!!!
Chaplainmike, that is some serious scripture twisting. We are not under the law of moses and this is not israel. in fact this country was started in direct contradiction to New Testament doctrine. Christians in the first century and all through history have lost their lives for not swearing alegience to a flag, country, or ruler once they experiecned the new birth in Christ. Not one of the apostles or early christians would have said the pledge. Not one. You need to read the New Testament and ask the Holy Spirit to instruct you. This country is not Gods chosen nation it is the very seat of the spirit of Anti Christ. "We the people" is not in the bible, that came from the mouth of satan. Jesus Christ is my king, i am a foreigner in a strange land waiting for my king to return. We obey the laws of the land in the Lord but we pledge aliegence to NO ONE BUT GOD!. I mean this seriously, every single time you say the pledge you are commiting blasphemy. "christians" in this country have been believing lies from the pit of hell for far to long. REPENT!
- - - - - - - - - - [twists finger in circle next to side of head]... ....coo-coo!
The whole world is watching how we defecate on our Constitution. When a judge can order a citizen to recite the pledge of alliance, and goes to jail for not obeying an unlawful order, it's time to flush our Constitution down the toilet. The judge was elected by the people to judge, he doesn't own the courtroom the people do. Take this matter all the way to the Supreme Court of the U.S. For those of you morons out there, reciting the pledge of alliance or not, doesn't make any less of an American. I'am a Vietnam vet, (Combat Vet.), and I disagree with this judge.
rmirod says: "Christians are forbidden to honor any man, thing, country or any other idol or edifice, other than the Lord Jesus Christ. READ your Bible." The Bible says: ""Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12 (NIV) "honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matt 19:19 (NIV) "Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king" 1 Peter 2:17 So we are commanded (not forbidden) to honor certian men (and women)..... "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America....."
Lastly when considering who really implements political philosophy as inculcated in law of the land, look no further than the judge. What do I mean? Who do you think actually implemented the political philosophy of National Socialism (NAZISM) in Germany during the run up to the second world war. If you watch the movie with Spencer Tracy, Nuremberg Trails you find that the entire political system as constructed by the political ruling class was carefully crafted and installed by lawyers and judges. Don't ever "Pledge Allegiance" to any earthly power As a Christian or a Jew you are forbidden to worship or pledge allegiance to anyone except the Lord thy God. God Jehovah said, " I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any other Gods before me." Christians are forbidden to honor any man, thing, country or any other idol or edifice, other than the Lord Jesus Christ. READ your Bible.
The judge is not asking the man to validate the present or any administration. He is merely asking him to validate that he will honor the flag that stands for our nation. The flag that our vetrans have bleed and died to keep waving over us. Freedom of speech is not the issue. Ones freedom of speech ends when loyalty to our way of life is at stake. One may not spill his guts to an enemy of our country and call it free speech. The judge did eveyone a favor by making his point. If a person owes no allegiance to our way of life, as presented in our constitution and as represented by our whom and where do his loyaties lie? I do not like what is happening to our country and I surely do not support the present socialist policies of this administration, but America is still worth dying for and accordingly, I pledge my allegiance to the flag for which it stands.
You sound like a Roman. God save the queen? Hail Cezar? Is that it? Do you realize that "dying for your country" does not justify you before the Living God? You say america is worth dying for yet All those who died for their country but rejected the savior will face the great white throne judgement alone. With no hope of pasing uncondemned. God is not a patriot of the USA and He does not accept dying for freedom as something exemplary. You may reject all this and that is your choice, what i have posted here sounds harsh yet it is true and the time is coming soon when all these things will come to a close and what will you say then. There is only one worthy thing to die for and that is the Cross of Christ. All things will pass away in firey judgement. Why die for that which is temporal? Die for that wich is Eternal.
All orders of judges are based upon their own view of the US Constitution looking through the prism of their own historical political affiliation, be they from the Democrat party or the Republican Party or even the Communist Party....all decisions of judges in the court system are based upon political stripe. If that were not so then please explain why the Supreme Court candidates are either Liberal or Conservative depending on who won the presidential election. Why are SCOTUS judges measured as to their supposed judicial temperament which actually means "political philosophy". Justice is not blind, nor is it fair, it is based upon your ability to hire the best lawyers to prevaricate your way out of a predicament. Judges do not respect the US Constitution as the Supreme law of the land. How do we know that? Because they are constantly being overruled by higher courts.. And judges are no different then anyone else in this society, they are corrupt, lie, cheat, and steal if allowed to when no one is looking. How do we know that, the Bible says that man without God is wicked and thinks evil thoughts day and night...and that includes judges.
I know I am going to catch hell for this… But maybe the contempt citation was reasonable in this case. Given that the person involved was not just anyone, but an officer of the court refusing to perform one of his courtroom duties, a sanction may be justified. Consider the case of a court reporter that is ordered to read from the court record during the course of a courtroom session. The reporter refuses to read from the record and the courtroom session comes to a halt while the judge finds someone else to read from the record. I would say the judge would be ok in holding the original reporter in contempt for refusing to perform their function. In this respect, an officer of the court who refuses to follow court procedure could be cited for contempt for a refusal which would be protected for a person who was not an officer of the court. The lawyers, clerks, bailiffs, reporters and others who work in the courtroom have duties above and beyond those of the average John Q. Citizen and I believe this might be one of those cases.
...and if the judge instructs everyone in the courtroom to perform the chicken dance for five minutes before court can proceed simply because he decrees it then he is justified in doing so solely because he is a judge, yes? NO! the judge has to follow rules and laws set forth by the people's representatives in legislation and law, the same as everyone else. If the law is incorrect then you must change the law not arbitrarily decide for yourself the rules of the game and change them in the middle of the "game"! I don't believe there is any law requiring any recitations from the court occupants at any time except for the taking of the oath before testimony.
See West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943). This case was brought to the Supreme Court based on religious freedom issues. The Court upheld First Amendment freedom of speech in the case. No one can be compelled to recite the pledge -- not even a judge in a courtroom. Supreme Court Judge Frank Murphy wrote in his concurrence: "The right of freedom of thought and of religion, as guaranteed by the Constitution against State action, includes both the right to speak freely and the right to refrain from speaking at all, except insofar as essential operations of government may require it for the preservation of an orderly society -- as in the case of compulsion to give evidence in court. Without wishing to disparage the purposes and intentions of those who hope to inculcate sentiments of loyalty and patriotism by requiring a declaration of allegiance as a feature of public education, or unduly belittle the benefits that may accrue therefrom, I am impelled to conclude that such a requirement is not essential to the maintenance of effective government and orderly society."
The only problem with your argument is that was a freedom of religion case and NOT a freedom of speech case. If you look the case up, the Plaintiff was a Jehovah Witness and it is specifically against their religion to pledge allegiance to any flag of any country because they equate that to praying to a fake God. Nowhere in the current story did it state that the Lawyer was a Jehovah Witness...if he is NOT part of a religion that forbids the reciting of the pledge, then the judge can require him to do so...just like the judge can require you to swear to an oath to tell the truth or hold you in contempt. Go back and re-read the case.
I believe you people make this shiat up as you go along...the judge cant FORCE you to "swear an oath to tell the truth" fact you can tell them no, I do not swear to tell the which case your testimony will not be allowed as evidence. You don't have to swear "so help me God" either...what if you don't believe in a God...then the swearing is useless. You can swear on my mother's soul or on "the lives of my loved ones", anything you long as you promise to tell the truth under penalty of perjury. "the judge can require you to swear to an oath to tell the truth or hold you in contempt"<<< I call BULLshiat!!!!
The Judge is a total Moron, and should be kicked out. It is obvious that the Judge is trying to enforce his power over another person, just because he can. If the man did not break a law, it is not up to the Judge to make law, or pass instant Judgement aside from the law. This country needs to protect citzens from this kind of Natzi behavior. Even though I think all citizend should state the Pledge, it still at this point is a free country, and the choice should be there. Even though I think that attorney is wrong for not showing his loyalty to his country, I do not at all agree with a judge weelding such power. Pathetic Judge.
This reminds me of the scene from Roots where they beat Kunta Kinte until he finally said, "My name is Toby." Having authority over other people seems to amplify one's character -- or lack of character.
NOT reciting the pledge is a constitutionally protected exercise of free speech. Whether it is in good taste or decorum doesn't matter. The Constitution doesn't care about one's political bent, its protections apply to everyone. The Judge abused his authority and unlawfully imprisoned the attorney. A complaint should be filed with the Mississippi Bar demanding disciplinary action. Indeed, a Federal civil rights investigation should be conducted into this incident and look for previous excesses attributed to this Judge.
You people are very funny, very very funny! You all whine about the stupid government and it's idiocracy and you still don't know SQUAT! I do not say the pledge myself, period! I will explain. I do not pledge allegiance to no MAN or Country. I do pledge myself to GOD the Father! my priorities per the country is: 1. GOD 2. My Wife 3. My Family 4. My State Now the pledge was written by one of the earliest socialist, and that was France Bellamy a socialist minister. The federal government at the end of the War Between the States was forcing Southern Soldiers to say a pledge to the federal government. South Carolina is a Sovereign State, read the treaty with England and the founders own writings. So keep bad mouthing ODumbo, which is a good thing, but pledge yourself to the idea of what the government is now? The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States which is the official national pledge, is an "oath of loyalty to the nation." Oath of loyalty?? give me a break. I stand firm on beliefs that the government was suppose to be BY THE PEOPLE, States having their say in "their own affairs" a local governing body. States to run their own local affairs with no intervention by feds. States can and could not tell other States how to live and what Laws, and trade were to be enforced between them. Trade, commerce, between States was to be REGULAR, which means one State can not post tarriffs, or taxes more on one States goods than another. Go do a little better research, also understand what your saying is "You have no right to bash the president as you say the pledge to him as he, and the congress is the government! So keep pledging your loyalty to higher taxes, more government intrusion, loss of LIBERTY, your money for slackers, paying other countries with YOUR MONEY! Remember it si the United StateS, notice the S on the end of States. This is ROME, watch the government fiddle while your houses and businesses burn!
I don't think you should feel like you are getting your priorities out of order by reciting the pledge. We are compelled to pledge ourselves to the government in Romans 13. I felt the same way about paying taxes but Romans 13 takes care of that too. The great thing about our country is that we can change the things we don't like in the government unlike the Jews with their Roman oppressors. "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Romans 13 “A nation will prosper when its ruler is mature, and its leaders don't party too much.” Ecclesiastes. 10:17
You morons who think this lawyer should be disbarred are the ignorant ones. You cannot pick and choose which parts of the Constitution to use like you do with your revealed holy books. This lawyer had every Constitutional Right to refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and the Judge should be censured heavily for intruding on that lawyer's civil rights. Civil Rights do no stop at the courtroom door. Ignorant states such as Mississippi are living in the dark ages. Those southern states will not get over the fact that the Union won and they lost. The :Confederacy is DEAD bozos. Also, FYI, "one nation under God" was ADDED later and was NOT part of the original pledge. The bias of the religious class violated the Separation of Church and State Clauses which prevents govt sanctioning of a religious organization. Yeah, yeah, it's on our money, "God" but in purely historical terms. The pledge was altered not historical. If you cannot fathom that EVERYBODY gets their full Constitutional Rights, then I suggest YOU GO to another country and live by strict religious laws of evil and myth. A religious and wise Founding Father once said, "THE DOORSTEP TO THE TEMPLE OF WISDOM IS A KNOWLEDGE OF OUR OWN IGNORANCE." Benjamin Franklin
There is no "Separation of Church and State" or "Wall of Separation" in the constitution. Please obtain a copy of the constitution and read it before popping off with idiotic comments. You just make yourself and your cause look stupid. The "Under God" portion of the pledge was affirmed by a vote of 99-0 in the senate and 401-5 in the house of representatives. It is actually the will of the people that it remains. Only 5% of the population actually wants the "under God" portion removed. It is some degree of irony that the only chance one like you has in getting it removed is through the bias of the courts. This Democrat judge is actually throwing people in jail because they won't say it.
Dude, reread what you wrote here. You seem to be also picking and choosing what you think you like about the Constitution. First off NO WHERE in the Constitution does it say "Separation of Church and State" and I have read it hundred of times. That quote is from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to a church in the North. The States came out of a country that had a State Religion, sanctioned by the King! Some individual States could and did have a State Religion even after Constitution was written and adopted.If from what you are saying, as I read it, then why do States have State Constitutions? The original 13 colonies had State Constitutions before the US Constitutions. Do you understand the Constitution? From your words here I don't think you really have a clue. The Constitution and Bill of rights limited the Feds to what the CAN NOT DO to States. Do some honest research, you have at your disposal the best and easiest research tool at hand, the computer. Now is everything you read on the internet or hear from teachers and or newscasters true? NO, but you have a brain, USE IT! War Between the States was about Southern Patriots fighting for their right to their own government, 10th Amendment. "THE DOORSTEP TO THE TEMPLE OF WISDOM IS A KNOWLEDGE OF OUR OWN IGNORANCE." Benjamin Franklin Ole Ben pegged you didn't he? A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable. Thomas Jefferson, September 8, 1817 "Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin\ "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. And force, like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."  George Washington
Oh and one more thing.. if that happened to me or any other person in my presence, I would fax a writ of habeas corpus to the federal district court and the state court of appeals before the judge could say "judicial misconduct". Then see what happens!
All you morons who believe that it is right to INCARCERATE somebody for not saying the "pledge of allegiance".... Wait until YOU do something that those who just "know better" think is wrong, and throw you in jail. You bunch of ignorant brownshirt fascists - don't you realize that you are on the side of the Nazi's in WWII? Are you REALLY so STUPID as to believe that the government parasites (this judge being one of them) do ANYTHING other than steal from you legally and then convince you that it "was the right thing to do"? What ignoramuses you are. Who is going to help you when they come for YOU? Nobody, because there won't be anybody left, because YOU DIDN'T HELP ANYBODY WHEN YOU COULD. "courtroom". BS. "court". BS. This "judge" is a lunatic old fart whose power has gone to his head. Time for that head to be REMOVED. It is OBVIOUS that this dickbite "judge" KNEW he shouldn't have done this, because he immediately let the lawyer back out, with NO provision for putting him back in jail. Be prepared, you government parasites. Your time is about over. Prepare to meet reality.
This judge is a moron. Standing at the beginning of the session is a show of respect to the Court. Being ordered to recite the Pledge of Allegiance is not the same. The judge is trying to order someone to make a political statement and it's clearly a violation of the lawyer's 1st amendment rights. But that's not really why he is a moron or at least not the only thing. As a lawyer, I know that the most important power the Court has is the power to preserve order in the courtroom. Using your contempt power frivolously, in anger or in trying to make a point demeans you and the office you hold. Also, being forced to back down after ordering something because you and every other lawyer in the courthouse knows you are WRONG makes you look like an ass and thereby takes away respect for the system. Lastly, coming up with this lame excuse about him having to appear at another hearing as being the reason for releasing the lawyer shows that the judge doesn't even have the good sense to admit that he was wrong. He violated the lawyer's civil rights and could be sued; he definitely should be brought up before the judicial standards committee of the state bar.
I hope ol' Danny boy received a 5 hours worth of jail "hospitality," maybe, next time this POS will recite the pledge...all defense and aclu lawyers need to spend some time behind bars.
1. ALL correction officers, police, defense lawyers (so they will fight harder for their clients), prosecutors / ADA-DA / (SO THEY ONLY ATTEMPT TO PUT REAL BAD PEOPLE BEHIND BARS ___ NOT THE QUESTIONABLE ONES.) criminal law interns, paralegals AND HIRED INVESTIGATORS (so they will work harder doing the leg work) CSI's and lab techs (so they will EXTRA care to get all possible evidence run the testS correctly ARGUE BETTER FOR SOLID RESULTS AND BE ABLE TO TELL THE POLICE ADA / DA that "THIS" RESULT COULD MEAN 1 OR 2 OR 3 but it does NOT mean that the suspect _DEFINITELY_ DID THE CRIME ) SHOULD SPEND _ AT LEAST _ 1 WEEK in local jails AND 1 month in prison 2. There should be 2 new prisons made (A.) for TRAINING of prison correction officers INCLUDING STAFF (WARDENS ALSO) PRISON RELEASE BOARD (so that get the convicts on the edge of acceptability for release out faster) (B.) For people in law enforcement __ police, lawyers, ada / da , judges CSI'S AND LAB TECHS who commit crimes.
What do you expect from *** up Mississippi?
You must be from for *** up Chicago