Letters of the Law

Murrell Worse Than James?

Thank you for Russell Fowler’s interesting article about Milton Brown and John Murrell (“Milton Brown and the Trial of John Murrell,” March 2014 Tenn. Bar Journal). Murrell is apparently not as obscure as I supposed. Coincidentally, I just read a long account of John Murrell in Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi. Twain mentioned Murrell’s Tennessee connections, saying Murrell hid out at Island 37 near Memphis. Twain also described at length Murrell’s truly bad character, writing that, “[Jesse] James was a retail rascal; Murrell, wholesale.”

— Scott Peatross, Memphis

Constructive Criticism

I read your article published in the Tennessee Bar Journal about your experience in the A. A. Birch Courthouse (“My Day in Court,” by Suzanne Craig Robertson, March 2014). The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office is responsible and oversees the contract with G4S that provides security for the Courts. I want to thank you for an honest assessment of your experience and I am going to use this to improve the way our officers treat and interact with the public. Sometimes law enforcement becomes distant and unsympathetic and I want to try and ensure that our people treat the citizens of Davidson County and the guests at the Court as people.

— John L. Ford III, chief deputy, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, Nashville