The Harris Column
By SAMUEL J. HARRIS
Putnam Pit columnist
Looper is not guilty
I have become tired of speculating on the
Byron (Low Tax) Looper matter, but it will be some time before the trial
ends speculation about whether the politically unpopular Putnam County
tax assessor murdered his incumbent opponent for state senate, Tommy Burks.
(My wife reminds me that speculation may not end then.) Still the most
important duty as an attorney that I can perform for interests of justice
is to remind the public of the most fundamental element of criminal due
process in America -- a person is innocent until proved guilty. LOOPER
IS NOT GUILTY. This fact is irrefutable because there has been no trial.
The Upper Cumberland shines brightest when it shows the world that fair
trials that adhere to the Anglo-American principles of due process prevail.
In the early morning hours of Oct. 23, 1998, District Attorney William
Gibson announced to the world that Byron Looper had been arrested for the
political murder of State Senator Tommy Burks. For Looper -- the embattled
Putnam County Property and political nihilist, the arrest was the climax
of a two-year period of Sturm und Drang. For Gibson it represented the
political defeat of one of his most bitter enemies.
to The Putnam Pit
columnist John Wayne Allen
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