The aftermath of Boswell's trial
Feb. 25, 2001
The trial of District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell may have ended last week, but not all of the questions were answered.
A Lauderdale County Circuit Court jury found Boswell not guilty on three counts of falsely registering voters. The presiding judge threw out two other counts for lack of evidence and the jury deadlocked six-to-six on three other charges. The judge threw out one charge the week before the trial began.
Veteran court observers believed the evidence in this case was painfully thin. There is no point in second-guessing the decision of Attorney General Mike Moore and his Public Integrity Division to bring the charges against Boswell.
But the fact is Boswell's life and political career has been like a roller coaster lately. Since November 1999, he's been indicted and arrested, elected in two separate elections and cleared of six of nine original charges. Now, he awaits word from state prosecutors on whether they will seek a new trial on the three counts on which the jury deadlocked.
Suffice it to say the state failed to convince the jury in this trial of Boswell's guilt. Given another opportunity, the results could be different. Or, maybe not.
The integrity of our election process must be safeguarded. Wrong-doers must be brought to justice. But in the case of Ray Boswell, after more than a year of sheer hell, prosecutors have yet to prove in a court of law that he did anything wrong.