The Case of Terry Jackson Mitchell v. (Former Federal Prosecutor and Judge) Richard Roberts: On the Higher Standard to Which Attorneys and Judges are Held
By Ken K. Gourdin
Noted Utah defense attorney Greg Skordas recently published an Op-Ed in the Deseret News in which he discusses the evolution of sex crime laws in the state of Utah and the impact that evolution has had on defendants. Terry Jackson Mitchell was friends with one of the African-American men shot by racist and murderer Joseph Paul Franklin in Salt Lake City in 1980. The U.S. Justice Department sent Richard Roberts, then an attorney, to Salt Lake City to assist in Franklin’s prosecution. Ms. Mitchell testified at Franklin’s trial, after which Roberts had an intimate relationship with the-then-16-year-old Ms. Mitchell (who says Roberts pressured her into being intimate with him), and that relationship now is the subject of litigation (a suit filed by Ms. Mitchell).
I previously commented on the tragedy weathered by Ms. Mitchell on the blog, and that post can be found here (this and all other links last accessed March 30, 2016): https://greatgourdini.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/spirits-and-violent-death/. Mr. Skordas’s piece can be found at the following address: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865650998/The-evolution-of-Utahs-sex-crime-laws.html. I commented on Mr. Skordas’s piece as follows: