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  • Writer's pictureFred Litwin

The Wisdom Decision

Jim Garrison appealed the Christenberry decision which prohibited his perjury charges against Clay Shaw from proceeding. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld Christenberry, and Judge John Wisdom wrote the decision:


















In Shaw, we detailed then District Attorney Jim Garrison's harassing prosecution of Clay Shaw and the bad faith tactics Garrison employed in his zealous investigation of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Shaw represents perhaps the paradigm in this Circuit of impermissible prosecutorial motives.

Summary of this case from Musslewhite v. State Bar of Texas


In Shaw v. Garrison, 467 F.2d 113, 120 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 409 U.S. 1024, 93 S.Ct. 467, 34 L.Ed.2d 317 (1972), our predecessor court determined that "there is a federal right to be free from bad faith prosecutions."

Summary of this case from Strength v. Hubert


In Shaw v. Garrison, 467 F.2d 113 (5th Cir. 1972) the plaintiff sufficiently demonstrated that his pendent state prosecution for perjury was made in bad faith.


Garrison appealed this to the Supreme Court which refused to hear the case.


Memphis Commercial Appeal, November 22, 1972


Is this the product of a sane man? The assassination was a "professionally executed guerilla ambush," with four gunmen - two in front, and two in back. Oswald was "planted" in the Texas School Book Depository. Jack Ruby was a "professional operative for government intelligence." Even the control of night clubs, near military bases, was "standard operating procedure for the domestic espionage operation."


Previous Relevant Blog Posts


n January 1971, Judge Herbert Christenberry conducted three days of hearings on Garrison's prosecution of Clay Shaw for perjury. Here is his decision.

Jim Garrison claims he asked for a preliminary hearing on the Clay Shaw prosecution because of fairness, but here is the real reason.


In the lawsuit to stop Garrison's perjury charges, Judge Herbert Christenberry held three days of hearings in January of 1971. Jim Garrison, still the District Attorney, was forced to take the stand and was examined by Clay Shaw's attorneys.


Judge Herbert Christenberry held three days of hearings from January 25-27, 1971, to determine if Clay Shaw should stand trial for perjury. We've already posted highlights of Jim Garrison's testimony. Today, we post the entire testimony of Lt. Edward O'Donnell who conducted lie detector tests for Garrison in the 1960s.


Perry Russo testified in the three-day hearing held by Judge Herbert Christenberry in January 1971 that was held to determine if Clay Shaw should be tried for perjury. He plead the fifth amendment.


On November 20, 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Jim Garrison's petition to overturn the permanent injunction against trying Clay Shaw for perjury. Here is Garrison's reply.




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