Saturday, September 08, 2007
The Federal Prosecutor: A Calling Betrayed
In the recent history of our country, the calling of federal prosecutor has been a vital one. It has in a sense been the most critical building block upon which the American democracy has rested, for it assures justice, without which we would have no democracy. Thousands of young Americans who aspire to a career in public service seek and secure positions as assistant United States attorneys. Many of these individuals—a disproportionately high number of them in fact—go on to pursue careers in politics. In recent decades there has been no more important well from which the two great political parties have drawn human material.
If everything that Mr. Horton complains about were fixed, then the job of prosecutor would still be worthy of disrespect, because prosecutors' main calling is to increase the level of crime in the U.S., and to keep the downtrodden in their places, by prosecuting people for distributing and using certain drugs. With the new problems that Mr. Horton discusses, drug prohibition has not been getting much attention recently, but it remains the single greatest blight in our society.
In roughly 3000 words calling for "a special prosecutor tasked to investigate politically manipulated cases, such as those in Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, as well as the voter-suppression programs," I did not see one scintilla of actual evidence of anything remotely improper, nevertheless Nifong (or Ronnie Earle) style willful criminal activity.
Professor Horton, care to actually make a case?
I agree with your dislike of drug laws, but shouldn't you direct your ire at congress, and not federal prosecutors?
jsalvati: You mean the prosecutors are only following orders? (I am making an analogy to Nuremberg, but not comparing prosecutors to Nazis.) I am not a prosecutor but I am regularly called as a juror in state court, and, whenever I am in the jury pool for a drug distribution or possession case (which is the majority of the time), I inform the judge that I will not convict no matter what the evidence.
"we have witnessed a wholesale betrayal by federal prosecutors of their sworn duties to the nation, the law, and, most importantly, to the unswerving pursuit of justice"Post a Comment
I think your formulation here is particularly problematic. What essentially describes the current American political situation is that it is riven by deep disagreements over what "justice" and "nation" actually is.
Abstracting the situation: in some theoretical nation, there are two major political groupings. Each, to some extent, believes the other group wishes to overthrow the current government (which is a mish-mash of old policies and decisions, as well as laws and institutions created by both political groupings as well as earlier, now extinct political groups) for a significantly different form of government.
So, in the macro sense, "nation" is percieved correctly by both groups to be best defended by each group entirely destroying the other. Since the other group is making all efforts to destroy the "nation" and "justice", "justice" is best achieved by ruthlessly silencing / suppressing the other group.
So what we run into is: if the regime is truly democratic, then it can change it's constitution as often as the majority of the voters want it to - there is no eternal or external justice. Justice is whatever the majority of voters says it is at any moment. So, whomever has the majority of votes at any moment rules, and rules absolutely (until the voters expell them).