Justice for Mayor Higginbotham

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In Waterproof, LA a Black mayor challenged White officials, and paid the price.  The Mayor was forced out of office, prosecuted on trumped-up charges, and is now sitting in jail -- without bail -- as he waits for his chance to appeal his conviction.

Please call on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to step in and work toward justice.  When you do, you'll also call on District Attorney James Paxton to drop all charges against Bobby Higginbotham and consent to his release from jail.

Click here to see the letter to District Attorney James Paxton

Dear Governor Jindal,

I'm calling on you to stand up for justice in the case of Bobby Higginbotham, the former mayor of Waterproof, Louisiana. Higginbotham was persecuted by District Attorney James Paxton, who used his office to pursue a vendetta against the mayor, bringing Higginbotham up on trumped-up corruption charges and orchestrating his removal from office.

Mr. Higginbotham has repeatedly been subjected to unfair -- and in some cases unlawful -- treatment at the hands of Paxton and Judge John Crigler. First, the pair dismissed his attorney of choice on unfair grounds. When Higginbotham had trouble securing a new attorney, he was essentially forced to represent himself. Paxton manipulated the jury pool to ensure that Black residents were underrepresented. The final jury consisted of five white members and just one Black member in a parish where nearly 60% of residents are Black. Inexplicably, Higginbotham -- a homeowner and businessman who had no prior criminal record -- was declared a flight risk and denied bond after his conviction. He's been in prison since May 19, 2010.

Governor Jindal, I would like to believe that this standard of justice is far below your standards. I've asked Paxton to cease his unfair prosecution of Mr. Higginbotham. I now call on you to act in your capacity as moral leader of the state of Louisiana, and announce your intention to investigate the circumstances of Mr. Higginbotham's prosecution and ensure a just outcome. I also urge you to investigate the actions of District Attorney James Paxton.

Respectfully,

[Your name]

Click here to see the letter to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Dear District Attorney Paxton,

Due to my deep misgivings about your ability to execute your duties fairly and in accordance with the law, I am calling on you to immediately cease your prosecution of former Waterproof Mayor Bobby Higginbotham.

Mr. Higginbotham, along with his former police chief Miles Jenkins, report numerous, corroborated incidents of harassment at the hands of you and Sheriff Rickey Jones. That harassment appears to have continued as you brought Higginbotham up on dozens of trumped-up charges, some of them for actions which don’t appear to have violated any law.

Moreover, it is unconscionable that Mr. Higginbotham has not been granted bond since being convicted. That seems far out of line with the nature and severity of Mr. Higginbotham's alleged crimes.

Your behavior before, during, and since Mr. Higginbotham’s arrest strongly implies that you are motivated by personal vendetta far more than you are in the faithful execution of the law. Even this appearance is unacceptable. If justice is to be served, and if faith in your office is to be preserved, I urge you to immediately call off your prosecution of Bobby Higginbotham and consent to his release pending an appeal.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

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