Pledge Balk Leads To Jail

Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 2:13pm

Judge jails attorney for refusing to recite pledge of allegiance.

A Mississippi judge sent a Lee County attorney to jail Wednesday for failing to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance while in court.

For attorney Danny Lampley, it started out as a normal day in court.

"I was laying my material out to get prepared for trial," Lampley said.

However, that normal day quickly turned into a jail visit for Lampley.

He said it is all because he did not want to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

"I tried to explain to him that it's a personal matter to me. I don't have to answer to anybody about a matter of that kind," Lampley said.

He said the explanation was not enough.

"At that point, he had the deputy take me in to custody," Lampley said.

The court documents state Lampley refused to stand and say the pledge.

However, he said it did not happen that way.

"He said, 'Please stand for the pledge.' Of course, we were all standing anyway because the judge had just come in, it's a matter of courtesy. I remained standing with my hands by my side," Lampley said.

The attorney said he waited for everyone to finish the pledge.

Lampley said when it was over the judge asked him to say it.

He refused, and that is when the judge held him in contempt.

The episode happened during chancery court.

Lampley says this was not the first time the judge had him removed from a courtroom.

"I was asked to leave the courtroom in Corinth because I did not want to participate in the pledge that day either," he says.

The Corinth incident happened in June.

Lampley said he hopes he and Judge Talmadge Littlejohn will be able to come to a resolution.

"Judge Littlejohn is very sincere. We have different world views different view points." Lampley said, "What I am afraid he is resolved as I am resolved. I'd rather talk to him privately because I like him."

Judge Talmadge Littlejohn would not comment about the matter.

Littlejohn sent a message through his clerk saying the documents tell the story.

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