Jim Hood

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Jim Hood
Jim Hood 2007.jpg
39th Attorney General of Mississippi
Assumed office
January 14, 2004
Governor Haley Barbour
Phil Bryant
Preceded by Mike Moore
Personal details
Born James Matthew Hood
(1962-05-15) May 15, 1962 (age 53)
New Houlka, Mississippi, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Debra Lynn Hood
Children Rebecca
Matthew
Annabelle
Alma mater University of Mississippi,
Oxford

James Matthew "Jim" Hood (born May 15, 1962) is the Attorney General of the US state of Mississippi. A Democrat, he was elected in 2003, having defeated the Republican nominee Scott Newton. A former District Attorney, Hood succeeded Mike Moore.

Early life and education[edit]

Hood is a native of New Houlka in Chickasaw County in northeastern Mississippi.

In 1988, Hood received his J.D. from the University of Mississippi at Oxford. As an undergraduate, Hood was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha.

Attorney General[edit]

In 2005, Hood prosecuted former Klansman Edgar Ray Killen for orchestrating the 1964 murders of Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney in Philadelphia, Mississippi during Freedom Summer.

Jim Hood speaking at a Department of Justice event.

Hood has been active in the legal aspects of the recovery of Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. Shortly after Katrina, Hood partnered with Mississippi plaintiff attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs, a brother-in-law of former U.S. Senator Trent Lott, in filing suit against numerous high-profile insurance companies. Hood's leadership has been praised by some as allowing homeowners a better opportunity for recovery than they experienced in neighboring Louisiana,[1] but Scruggs and Hood have also been criticized for over-zealously prosecuting insurance companies and because Scruggs helped convey confidential documents, which Hood used in a criminal probe, supposedly to pressure State Farm Insurance into settlement.[2] Hood was reelected on November 6, 2007 and again for a third term on November 8, 2011. He is currently the only Democrat to hold statewide office in Mississippi.

In 2008, Judge William Acker criticized Hood in a judicial opinion for his role in helping Scruggs commit civil contempt.[3] Scruggs was later convicted in federal court of crimes committed during the post-Katrina litigation.[4] The saga is recounted in the 2009 book, Kings of Tort.[5]

Pardons[edit]

On his last day as governor in 2012, Haley Barbour granted 208 pardons, clemency or early release for people convicted of crimes including murder, rape and armed robbery. Barbour's actions included 19 people convicted of murder.[6] Pardons by governors are not uncommon; the issue in this case is the number of pardons compared to former governors. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who Barbour succeeded as governor, issued only one pardon, for a man convicted of marijuana possession; Gov. Kirk Fordice, who preceded Musgrove, issued two full pardons for convicted murderers.[7] In his role as Attorney General Hood argued Section 124 of the Mississippi Constitution says any inmate seeking a pardon must publish their intentions 30 days in a newspaper in or near the county where the person was convicted and on January 11, a Mississippi judge temporarily blocked the release of the 21 inmates who had been given pardons or medical release.[8]

Ethical issues[edit]

On December 19, 2014, as a result of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, emails were released that showed that Jim Hood was co-opted by the Motion Picture Association of America to blame Google for acts of copyright infringement committed by numerous, multiple unrelated third parties[9] via the trade organisations the Digital Citizens Alliance and FairSearch.[10] The released emails also showed that threatening communications from Hood's office to Google were written by MPAA counsel.[11]

Google Investigation[edit]

Working with the National Association of Attorneys General and Entertainment lobby groups,[12] Hood has been pushing Google since 2013 to prevent use of the company's search engine to find drugs that require a prescription and copyright infringing content.[13] In December 2014, Google sued Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood in federal court, seeking to block a 79-page subpoena from Attorney General for violating First and Fourth Amendments rights.[14] The Attorney General filed a motion to dismiss on Jan. 12. Google's motion. Both parties later agreed to freeze their motions and not enforce the subpoena until March 6, 2015.[15] A U.S. District Judge granted Google's request for a preliminary injunction on March 2, 2015 putting on hold the pending subpoena[16] and ordering Attorney General Hood to hand over information requested by Google.[17]

Email communications made public through Google's request[18] outlined plans for a PR campaign discussed between the MPAA and Hood's office targeting Google through an elaborate scheme of media campaigns using PR firms and news outlets targeting Google's stock price and reputation.[19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rebecca Mowbray and Mary Judice (January 30, 2007). "Lawsuit in Miss. stands in contrast to La.; Neighboring state goes after insurers". Times-Picayune (New Orleans). 
  2. ^ "Mississippi Justice". Wall Street Journal. March 15, 2007. 
  3. ^ Associated Press (June 6, 2008). "Judge: Miss. attorney general conspired with Scruggs". USA Today. Retrieved March 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ Mohr, Holbrook (June 27, 2008). "Scruggs gets 5 years in prison in bribery scheme". USA Today. Retrieved May 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ Lange, Alan et al. (2009). Kings of Tort. Pediment Publishing. p. 255. ISBN 1-59725-244-1. 
  6. ^ Ward, Robbie (January 10, 2012). "Mississippi's Barbour surprises with raft of pardons". Reuters.
  7. ^ http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/01/11/mississippi_gov_haley_barbour_pardons_murders_brett_favre_s_brother_earnest_scott.html
  8. ^ "Mississippi judge blocks release of 21 inmates given pardons by Governor Barbour". Fox News. Associated Press. January 11, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Sued by Google, a state attorney general retreats". New York Times. December 19, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  10. ^ WINGFIELD, NICK (December 16, 2014). "Google’s Detractors Take Their Fight to the States". Retrieved January 1, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Google sues Mississippi Attorney General 'for doing MPAA's dirty work'". The Register. December 20, 2014. Retrieved December 20, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Letter to Google From Mississippi’s Attorney General". http://www.nytimes.com/. New York Times. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  13. ^ http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/01/22/354791.htm
  14. ^ "Google files lawsuit against Mississippi attorney general to block subpoena". CNET. 
  15. ^ "Miss. attorney general asks court to dismiss Google’s suit". Washington Times. 
  16. ^ "GOOGLE SLAMS MPAA CENSORSHIP EFFORTS AFTER COURT ‘VICTORY’". Torrent Freak. 
  17. ^ "Court: Google Can See Emails About MPAA’s Secret ‘SOPA Revival’". torrentfreak.com. April 21, 2015. 
  18. ^ "MPAA Emails Expose Dirty Media Attack Against Google - TorrentFreak". Retrieved 2015-07-28. 
  19. ^ "New Court Evidence Reveals Hollywood’s Plan to Smear Google". Retrieved 2015-07-28. 
  20. ^ "New MPAA e-mail showcases anti-Google attack plan". Retrieved 2015-07-28. 

External links[edit]