The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

A case study in prosecutor abuse.

Posted by iusbvision on March 24, 2009

Prosecutor Abuse. It is a real problem. The Duke rape case, the Ted Stevens Trial, the Randy Weaver trial, Tom Delay, Kay Baily Hutchinson, Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby and believe it or not, even the OJ trial (where the police tried to help the case along…) and countless others are examples.

Getting a big conviction is such a political goal for some police and prosecutors that the public is endangered. We need laws that help protect people from this. We need “looser pays” when the government initiates a lawsuit or criminal action and loses. As this study points out, citizens who do not have the hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs to defend against a government prosecution often take plea deals to avoid long sentences….all because they cannot afford to defend themselves. And here is the dirty little secret, far too many public defenders advise their innocent “clients” to accept a plea deal when the case for the defense is very winnable and many attorney’s and victims of these prosecutions have communicated that reality.

The Heritage Foundation has a case study in “over criminalization” where overzealous government prosecutors charged an art professor with bio-terrorism in the press, took his money, ransacked his home, stole his research and abused him with reckless zeal while admitting the whole time that his actions were harmless.

Here is the last paragraph of the study:

In short, prosecutors still wield the unbridled discretion to bring criminal charges against almost any individual, whether or not he or she has done anything typically regarded as a crime. Most of these defendants, like Dr. Ferrell, accept plea bargains to avoid the risk of lengthy sentences. A few, like Kurtz, have the resources and stamina to fight the charges, at great personal expense, and actually win–but they are the rare exception that proves the rule.

The study will anger you and might even bring you to tears, but it is a MUST read and it is not very long. Link HERE.

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