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Franklin County residents' reactions to Trump conviction show eroding confidence in American justice

When a Manhattan jury verdict convicting former President Donald Trump of 34 felony charges was announced last Thursday afternoon, the shock waves reverberated well beyond the walls of the New York courtroom.

Alabama’s Republican leaders promptly released statements blasting what they labeled a politically-charged prosecution, the lone exception being Democratic U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell of Birmingham, who said Trump’s convictions prove ‘that no one is above the law—not even a former President.’

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt’s criticism targeted not only New York prosecutor Alvin Bragg’s office, but trial judge Juan Merchan.

The prosecutors in this case, with I believe help from the bench, had to take the law and make origami out of it to try and get the verdict they wanted,” Aderholt said. “This was not about justice.”

Those decrying the verdict also included a number of Franklin County residents.

The Franklin Free Press asked its social media followers for their opinions regarding Trump’s guilty verdict.

Most, though not all, who responded, said Trump’s conviction was an attempt to undermine America’s election process. Their comments demonstrated a concern about the integrity of the federal government, with one even questioning whether fallout could include civil war.

When does the second civil war begin?,” asked Kory McCarley. “Unfortunately, that may be the only real way to drain the swamp.”

Sherry Cooper expressed a concern shared by many FFP readers that goes right to one of the country’s most precious freedoms—fair, impartial elections.

The USA will never have another fair election. It doesn’t matter who you vote for,” Cooper said. “They will put whoever they want into office. Our vote is useless. The citizens of the USA have no say in any part of the government anymore.

It’s a shame the way things are run. It is not what this country was founded on. Things will never be good for this country as long as things are run this way. The country’s leaders need to get down on their knees and ask God to forgive them for the way they have treated this once great nation,” she added.

Kim Landers Adams believes the country needs God’s help, and fast.

It’s a joke of a government we are all living under. (President Joe) Biden is owned by the Chinese. There will never be another fair election in this country again. God bless America and hurry!,” Adams said.

Not all local residents shared Cooper’s frustration though. Rita Skelton describes Trump as ‘by far the worst president ever’ and she hopes the Republican Party will move beyond him.

I’m so glad to see justice served. No way he will win in November. I hope the Republican Party does the right thing and nominates Nikki Haley,” Skelton said.

Kyle Baker said he’s tired of hearing about Trump.

Go ahead and vote him back in office and watch the world burn,” Baker said.

Donna Bobo Murray expressed a concern that’s been a Trump mantra for months, dating back to when he was first charged.

A law was changed so Trump could be prosecuted with a felony instead of a misdemeanor. Most people know these charges and this trial were not fairly administered. Just like Trump says, ‘If they can do this to me, they can do this to you!,’” Murray said.

Franklin County resident Adam McCollum took a more pragmatic approach about Trump, referencing the job he did as President being important than what's happening now.

I don’t care what he does or did, or if it’s rigged or not,” McCollum said. “I could afford to live like an actual American when he was president and that’s who I’ll be voting for.”

Tiffany Calvert also said her opinion of Trump is results oriented and hasn’t changed as a result of his convictions.

Regardless of how you feel about Trump, he cared for the people—he didn’t care about the pay,” Calvert said. “At the end of the day, if all the dirty laundry of the politicians was aired and tried, there wouldn’t be a politician left standing.

If anyone can confidently say that our economy is better off under Biden than it was under Trump, you’re probably a Democratic politician snowflake. Trump wasn’t a politician—he wasn’t controllable. When are the Clintons, Obamas and Bidens going on trial? At least we could afford gas and food under Trump. I’ll take that any day,” Calvert added.

On Thursday, Trump received some good news regarding his pending criminal charges for election interference in Georgia state court, as a Georgia appeals court ordered an indefinite stay of any prosecution against the former President until a ruling is made on the defense's motion to have prosecutor Fani Willis removed from the case.

The appeals court has a tentative date of October 4, 2024, to hear Trump's appeal so it is now unlikely there will be any resolution to Trump's Georgia cases until after the November 2024 election.


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