I was dumbfounded to see where one of the jurors in your case came forward and said you should not have been convicted. In my experience, this is unique. I’ve never heard of this happening before. It just shows how unfairly you were treated. When I saw the juror on television saying, “You never should have gone to prison” and “She wishes she could change the verdict and turn you loose,” I almost wanted to cry. God be with you Jim Brown.
S.R. from Lafayette, LA
Jim, you’ve been an inspiration to my family and many of my friends. You’ve handled this terrible tragedy with such class. It was so unfair what these federal people did to you. Many of us in Louisiana are very proud of you, thought you did a wonderful job in public life, and feel like you were so unjustly treated. But history will be kind to you because of the way you handled this entire matter.
Sarah from Hammond, Louisiana
I read every one of your columns when you were up in Oakdale, and I look forward to reading your columns every Thursday. We talk about them at work, and we spread them throughout the office. I read state and local columns; no one has the overall perspective with the human touch that you seem to, Mr. Brown. You have so many fans in the way you have carried on after the unfairness that happened to you and your family. You really are an inspiration. I hope you will write your columns for a long time to come, and I will be one of the first to buy your book.
K.R. from Jackson, Mississippi
We love your columns each week even though we don’t live in Louisiana. In fact, I print them out and discuss them at the dinner table. I’ve never heard of anyone who made the best of a really bad situation like you have. We all really laughed about your line that you have turned “chicken _ _ _ _ into chicken salad.” How true, and a good lesson for all of us. We want you to know that we appreciate what you”ve done for the state and the country. We will be readers for as long as you keep writing both your columns and your books. Godspeed, Mr. Brown.
J.S. from Austin, Texas
Your weekly column is as interesting, informative, and witty as anything I”ve read. I share with a number of friends each week, and wish there was more fresh analysis like yours being written. I applaud the way you stand up for Louisiana, and raise questions about mistakes involving both parties. If you listen to the Democrats or Republicans, you would think that they are 100% right, even if either side is completely wrong. That’s not the case, and you eloquently and intelligently point this out. Keep up the good work, Jim.
Ralph from Shreveport, Louisiana
Jim, I don’t always agree with you, but I have to say I look forward to your columns each week and I’m going out to buy your book this week. I thought you were treated so unfairly by the federal court system, and I have great admiration for the way you have bounced back, and are so strongly voicing your opinion. I hope to be a regular reader for some time to come.
Mary from Atlanta, Georgia
People do not realize the power of this government against its citizens once you become a target. It is frightening to me because you are not the first person they have pulled this on. Congress must do something to rein in the power they have grabbed before it is too late. Good luck to you and may God bless you and yours. I am a former Shreveporter living in S. Florida and an LSU graduate.
Bill from Florida
I strongly believe you were unjustly tried and convicted. As a cynical Louisiana native, when it comes to politics and politicians, I always felt you put the state’s interests above your own. Hopefully the Supreme Court will see through this FBI sham and overturn your conviction. Be strong and hang in there.
B.G. from Utah
I feel that I know you because of all the media attention concerning your trial. I think you got a bum deal. I hope you win your appeal. Good luck and God bless.
You don’t know me but as I and many residents of Louisiana have followed your case for the past five years, we as citizens must ask ourselves if our judicial system has what it takes to serve the people justly. I think not! As in your case many individuals are not given the opportunity to defend themselves on key issues that ultimately decided their guilt or innocence. My family and I wish you the best of luck! The truth will prevail.
V.S. from Abita Springs
What has happened to you is an injustice and there is nothing you can do about it, however, you’ve been put in a position where you’ve been forced to go with the flow. I can’t help but believe that something good is going to come out of this experience for you.
I thank you for caring so much about the small man while you were in office and I truly hope to see you back in office again. I am convinced by what I have seen that this all has been a political ploy to get such wonderful and committed workers as yourself out of office so the real dogs can take over.
A Faithful Constituent
My prayers are with you. As a lifelong Louisiana resident, I have appreciated your dedication to the state. I would vote for you AGAIN in a New York minute. I always thought things were better with you watching our backs. Good luck and God bless.
C.M. from Lafayette
Way to go Commissioner! Your attitude toward your current plight is an inspiration to us all. Good luck on your appeal and we’ll be thinking of you as you keep us informed over the next six months.
Ted from California
I have been interested in your case because I recently attended an in-service at my job, which featured an attorney speaking to us about the FBI, and the tactics they use, and the power they have. I wish I could get a copy of the videotape, because I don’t think most people have any idea what the federal government can do to an innocent person. Anyway, I know you will get through this and hopefully you can educate the public about the power of the federal government and the FBI in particular. I commend you for setting up this website and I will be checking it often. Keep the faith.
I am so glad I get a chance to write to you. I just wanted to let you know that I believe you got a raw deal. I think what’s going on here in Louisiana is all wrong. It seems that the FBI can do just whatever and get away with it. I don’t think for a minute you have done anything wrong. I am a strong supporter of you and your family. I am also praying for you and your family and I hope that everything works out for you. Tell your family that my family is praying for them. Take care. Our prayers are with you.
I have never met you, but have read so much about you. From what I know from the news and the newspaper I firmly believe you are in the wrong place. I will keep you in my prayers and hope these next six months are not difficult for you being away from your family and friends. I look forward to reading your news on your website. Six months may see like forever but before you know it you’ll be reunited with your family and the people who believe in you. Hang in there!!
Godspeed to you sir! You and your family are in my prayers daily. Your courage in adversity is an example that will not go unnoticed. I believe history will reflect that.
Gayle from Denham Springs
I hope that your stay in Oakdale is not too much of an inconvenience. However, if the prosecutor withheld information for your defense, then I sincerely believe that you should not have been sent to prison until ALL appeals have been exhausted. I suppose that it is only because you are within the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and not in a more constitutional following circuit.
I agree with you. I think it awful that a person can be convicted of a crime without the benefit of viewing the evidence (notes). I also think it bad that you or your attorney was not able to question the agent. I believe the U.S. Supreme Court will review your case and overturn the conviction. I do not understand how this happened in a court of law; it all sounds unconstitutional.
L.P. from Walker
Your website brings back memories. I can hear the words being spoken as I read your writing. The site makes it very clear that what people perceived, reading and hearing about your trial, was true. You were convicted unfairly. You were victimized by a very unjust system. As a result you have been deprived of a very precious thing – your freedom. The system has become so corrupt that a growing number of people have lost faith in it. During a trial, jury members are so afraid and/or influenced that no fair verdict is possible. Your conviction was unique, but not unusual. Their very procedures are so unfair and pro-government that most have no chance at all. Your acquittal on the substantive charges is what is unusual.
We don’t hear about the unfairness of routine convictions. We have heard about yours because you are so much more articulate than most. But, this fact is very important because it becomes a problem for all to handle and not just Jim Brown. And, as you know, the way for these things to be corrected is for many people to be in the same boat. It would be a very difficult thing for you, as influential as you are, to change the system. It would be very easy for society as a whole to do it. Unless everyone is helped, no one person can be helped.
It is very clear that the courts offer very little relief. The judge that sentenced you should have thrown out the convictions, but she is as pro-government as a judge can be. Very few remain pro-citizen once on the bench. The citizens have to make it unattractive to be pro-government and instill a duty to be fair to all parties. There was a lack of morality in your convictions and a lack of morality in your terrible loss of freedom.
I have watched several federal cases go through the courts. Your case is the largest misuse of federal law ever. You are an honorable and just man that fell victim to an Attorney General who put ambition before justice.
I am praying for you and hope the best for your family. I sincerely do not admire a government that tramples on anyone’s right to a fair trial. The real reason I wrote to you is to a share a poem with you that carries me through my darkest moments. With this poem memorized and God at your side, you will seem like Daniel in the lion’s den.
See It Through
When you’re up against a trouble
Meet it squarely face to face
Lift your chin set your shoulders
Plant your feet and take a brace
When it’s vain to try to dodge it
Do the best that you can do
You may fail but you may conquer
See it through
Even hope may seem but futile
When with troubles you’re beset
But remember you are facing
Just what other men have met
You may fail but fall still fighting
Don’t give up whatever you do
Eyes front head high to finish
See it through
Black may be the clouds about you
And your future may seem grim
But don’t let your nerves desert you
Keep yourself in fighting trim
If the worst is bound to happen
In spite of all that you can do
Running from it will not save you
See it through.
Your mother has sat in front of my family in church for as long as I can remember. I have been in school in Mississippi for a semester now, so the only way I’ve been able to keep up with your situation is through my parents, and now your website. I have never really disagreed with most sentences, but I can honestly say that you were flat out mistreated. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family as you go through this time in your life.
Nancy from Shreveport
Its been almost 10 years since I last saw you during a meeting in Denver. I’ve followed your case through the Advocate’s Internet edition. As a fellow attorney, I believe an injustice was done with your prosecution, and as a friend (though a long distance one) I am embarrassed that it was our judicial system that allowed and nurtured it. The Justice Department’s frustration over the years of attempting to convict EWE appears to have become an obsession to which the conviction of any friend of EWE must have been considered a victory. This ruling is a two-edged sword for the FBI; why would anyone ever talk to an agent now? But, I’m sure you’ve heard all of this many times.
Wayne from Dallas
I have checked out your website and enjoyed reading the first two entries in your “prison diary.” I, as well as many others, feel you got a bum rap. The way your case was handled was a sham and disgrace. I can see that you are a family man, and I know that something good will come out of all of this.
David B. from Baton Rouge
I am truly sorry for what happened to you. Who knows, you may turn out correct when you get out and find they were in the wrong. Police are so busy with petty things like this and don’t have time to deal with harsher and harmful crimes, such as car thefts, identity thefts, burglaries, snipers, etc., and instead are putting harmless people like you in jail.
A provocative look at the deepest of the deep southern states by two veterans of Louisiana politics. Thoughts that are informative, candid, humorous, and sometimes controversial about life in one of the most interesting and rabble-rousing states in the nation.