Could Willie Meggs get Disbarred for Actions in Jameis Winston Case?
With the Jameis Winston situation continuing to make headlines, many people are scrutinizing the actions of State Attorney Willie Meggs. What’s at the heart of this recent resurrection of a year-old case? Why is he targeting Winston despite the case being effectively closed since February?
Many people believe that at the heart of this case is a very disheartening culprit: racism.
Winston’s attorney Tim Jansen has called Meggs’ recent statements to the Associated Press into question. As reported by USA Today, Jansen doesn’t buy Meggs’ justification for police delaying the case for so long.
According to Meggs, this has given all the accused, including Jameis Winston, ample time to collude. “Now they’ve been talking to lawyers, they’ve been talking to each other and getting their stories together,” Meggs told the AP on Sunday. “People had 11 months to decide what they’re going to say.”
But as Jansen retorts, the delay calls investigators into question rather than the accused. As he recently mentioned, “in December 2012 the witnesses were available, and in February law enforcement chose not to interview them. Their story has not changed.”
What’s really going on here?
A History of Perverting Justice
This isn’t the first time a situation like this has occurred with Willie Meggs. A 2003 case involved former FSU star Travis Johnson. As Palm Beach-based news outlet Sun Sentinel reported, Johnson was arrested for the alleged sexual assault of a female shot putter ten years ago.
Meggs and his assistant State Attorney Adam Ruiz were more than ready to lay heavy-handed charges against Travis Johnson at the time. But when evidence was presented in court, the following occurred:
• FSU health practitioners testified that there was no evidence of a forced sexual encounter between Johnson and the alleged victim.
• The victim, a female shot putter, stands 6’2” and weighs 240 pounds. Johnson had just recently come out of a significant surgery limiting his mobility. There was simply no physical way he could have held down and assaulted a person of her size.
• The jury, a panel of 6 women, deliberated for less than 30 minutes. Their verdict? Not guilty on all charges.
There was nothing but evidence showing that Travis Johnson was innocent of any wrongdoing. That’s why he was found not guilty. And yet, here’s what Assistant State Attorney Adam Ruiz had to say in response to the verdict:
“It’s always been tough to convict Florida State football players in Tallahassee… [But] we’re going to keep prosecuting Florida State football players who break the law. It’s not going to change. Although the jury found that there was not enough evidence to convict him, [that] does not mean that Mr. Johnson did not commit the crime, and that is an important distinction.”
This sort of contempt for the due process that every citizen is afforded shows exactly what’s wrong with Willie Meggs and the State Attorney’s office: it’s not about justice; it’s about Meggs’ ego. It’s about Willie Meggs thinking he’s bigger than anyone else in Tallahassee.
This god complex has no place in the justice system. And it’s precisely what’s at the heart of the Jameis Winston case, too.
Jameis Winston Case: A History of Racial Bias by Willie Meggs
Alleging that Willie Meggs is racially biased against young black men like Jameis Winston isn’t a new claim. In fact, all sorts of public figures have come out against Meggs and his racially-fueled agenda.
According to Proctor, Meggs “just beats the hell out of black folk day in and day out.”An article out of Tallahassee’s WCTV remarked on this very controversy. According to Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor, Willie Meggs’ targeting of young African American men is nothing short of an “assigned assassin.”
While Willie Meggs simply dismissed these claims, Proctor noted that the numbers don’t lie. The number of black juveniles charged as adults in Leon County is 10 times greater than the number of white juveniles. As far as Bill Proctor sees it, “[Meggs’] numbers suggest that he has racial bias.”
Proctor is one of several Florida officials who are sick and tired of the prosecutorial misconduct of the State Attorney office. The recent Jameis Winston case is another blatant example of how Meggs and his office are unfairly targeting minorities.
Meggs: Disconnected from Reality
Other critics of Meggs note that he has several additional factors contributing to his unfair and biased behavior in the office of the State Attorney. Meggs is a strict Southern Baptist. Further, he also adheres to the teetotaler lifestyle – completely abstaining from alcohol. His beliefs create such a far removal from the rest of the world, and from the life of a young college-aged football player like Jameis Winston, that they could easily contribute to an unfair bias targeting race.
Additionally, several people who know Meggs claim that he may be experiencing symptoms indicating the early stages of dementia. As unfortunate as it is for him, if dementia is creeping in on Willie Meggs, he needs to be far removed from the office of the State Attorney. Perhaps his ego is keeping him there and leading to cases similar to Jameis Winston’s.
You have to wonder what Meggs is thinking with his uninformed prosecutions and frank mismanagement of the cases under his jurisdiction. Winston’s case is even greater proof that Meggs is not fit for work as Florida State Attorney. Alone the way he handled evidence in the Winston case calls for Megg’s disbarment. Revoking his law license is the only way to put a halt to his and his administration’s cruel tactics.
Meggs released harmful statements with malice against the promising athlete’s reputation. Only he and his confidants in his administration had access to the DNA evidence in the case that was released to the media. Meggs insinuated that Winston was guilty through implying that the DNA facts connected Winston to the crime. Multiple sources have come forward to agree that the sex was consensual. Meggs release of the evidence to select media outlets of his choosing is just one of the many way he abuses the system of due justice built into the United States legal system.
State Attorney Meggs over-stepped his jurisdiction to imply facts in the case summed up to guilt. The fallout from the 2006 Duke lacrosse cases criminal investigation of the false allegation of rape against the athletes led to, among other things, the disbarment of lead prosecutor Mike Nifong. Likewise, Megg’s actions in the case and blatant disregard for the facts calls for his disbarment.
The unfair targeting of Jameis Winston makes it clear that it’s time for someone to oust Meggs and restore true justice and fairness in Florida. One thing remains crystal clear: Willie Meggs’ current behavior does not exemplify justice.