Politicizing prosecution

Several cases have surface recently that raise questions about the motivation behind the search for criminal misconduct. Scott Horton describes The Thin Gruel of the Hastert Prosecution — “We should all be concerned about Dennis Hastert’s strange indictment“.

The fundamental problem in the Hastert case is simple: what, exactly, is the crime? As presented, the crime consists of a series of structured withdrawals supposedly designed to avoid a reporting duty, about which Hastert misled federal agents when they questioned him. This is not only extraordinarily thin gruel, it is also ripe for abuse. Keep in mind that the prostitution scandal that was manipulated by a Bush-era prosecutor to end the career of Eliot Spitzer was also triggered by similar bank payment reports.

Another case is described by Armstrong Williams suggesting that a South Dakota ‘voter fraud’ case deserves more attention.

The 43-year-old Sioux Falls physician was accused by State Attorney General Marty Jackley of having committed what is commonly referred to as “voter fraud.” Specifically, she had been indicted for having turned in nominating petitions that include the names of people whose signatures she did not personally witness.

That she did so is not in dispute; how the doctor has been treated very much is. According to ballot access activist Paul Jacob, Mr. Jackley’s “threatened penalty is the most severe any American has ever faced on a petition-related charge,” while “the transgressions alleged against Dr. Bosworth are arguably the least sinister” the activist has ever seen brought to trial.

Then there’s the Oregon case where the allegation is that the prosecution colluded with an LGBT group in going after a $135k discrimination claim. The Orange County disqualification of all of its lawyers in the district attorney’s office in a capital murder case is another problem in this vein.

These prosecutions are only the active half. The other half can be seen in Baltimore, New York, and other places where Police are inhibited in their efforts to tackle crime by political demands. Then there is the judicial front such as in the suit to stop the mainlining illegal immigrants. The war is on many fronts in may different ways.

Comments are closed.