Monday, September 27, 2010

Prosecutors Lying and Not Being Punished; We're Shocked, SHOCKED!

USA Today has discovered that federal prosecutors often engage in misconduct and they are shocked, SHOCKED. Of course, they continue to insist that we are dealing with just "a few bad apples."

Once upon a time, I believed that most prosecutors, state and federal, were fair and honest people who wanted to do the right thing, who were doing the Lord's Work, and were saving us from criminals and those dastardly defense lawyers who worked overtime to give us O.J. Verdicts. If there was any misconduct on their part, well, it was those "bad apples," not the system itself.

What a difference a decade makes. After reading The Tyranny of Good Intentions by Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence Stratton, I began to get a sense of how modern prosecutors have twisted and destroyed the law, and how lawmakers and an intellectually lazy public have contributed to this destruction. I never would look at law and especially prosecutors and police again.

Roberts and Stratton included material from a hard-hitting series that Bill Moushey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote in 1998, called "Win at all Costs," and after I read the series itself, I realized that the entire system was utterly rotten. Not only did federal prosecutors and officers lie -- and get caught lying -- none of them ever faced a second of punishment, no matter how egregious and illegal their conduct.

This is not an accident, nor is it just a situation of some people being asleep at the switch. It is deliberate, and people who are employed as prosecutors and police are sending the message to the rest of us: people in those "professions" can do what they damn well please, and no one is going to do anything about it.

Take the case that is featured in the USA Today story about Nino Lyons. He was convicted and sentenced to prison because federal prosecutors knowingly suborned perjury, hid exculpatory evidence, lied to jurors, and generally did what they wanted.

Thanks to some sleuthing from defense attorneys looking over one sentence in the sentencing report, the defense found what prosecutors had been doing. Lyons served three years in prison before a judge vacated his conviction:
In July (2010), U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell did more than overturn Lyons' conviction: He declared that Lyons was innocent.

Neither the Justice Department nor the lead prosecutor in the Lyons case, Bruce Hinshelwood, would explain the events that cost Lyons his home, his businesses and nearly three years of freedom. The department investigated Hinshelwood but refused to say whether he was punished; records obtained by USA TODAY show that the agency regulating Florida lawyers ordered him to attend a one-day ethics workshop, scheduled for Friday.

Asked about Presnell's ruling exonerating Lyons, Hinshelwood said only, "It is of no concern to me." (Emphasis mine)
If you want to know what Hinshelwood's "punishment" was, it was having to attend a one-day seminar in ethics. Yes, that is right, a man who orchestrated a huge criminal conspiracy had to spend a day listening to someone speak about "ethics," as though that would make a difference.

Why do the Hinshelwoods and the Gregors and Arnts and Nortons and Franklins of the prosecutorial world have the green light to break the law with impunity and face no punishment? In economics, we call it "Capture Theory," in which agents who are supposed to be regulated by outside entities manage to "capture" the regulatory apparatus. That clearly has happened here, and once that happens, it almost is impossible to right the ship.

Yes, there really are government agencies that are supposed to police the behavior of prosecutors at the state and federal levels, but it rarely is done. Read through the USA Today article and you will understand what I mean. Unlike the authors, however, I believe that most of the apples in the barrel are thoroughly rotten, and that the term "honest prosecutor" is fast becoming an oxymoron.

(And since police themselves made up the term "testilying," well, we can say that their very words condemn them. If a police officer is testifying on a witness stand, a juror can be sure that he or she probably is lying. It has come to that.)

No civilized society can withstand this kind of an onslaught. When people in power misuse their power simply because they can do it, then there is no more law, and there certainly is no order.

The irony is that Americans empowered police and prosecutors in the name of "law and order," but by destroying the protections our Constitution gave us, we find in the end that we have neither.

11 comments:

Michael McNutt said...

When police lie, prosecutors lie and judges back them what can you do? Here in Twin Cities we had gang task force who lied, sent people to jail, stole money, cars and even TV;s and snow blowers. They beat people, murdered one child and than "planted" a gun under his dead body that later was found to have been in police evidence room. Finally last week the courts and FBI announced they could do nothing because the police wouldn't talk. Really after reading all your writings about how its happening everywhere I ask, what can we do?

Trish said...

Start voting people out of office for a start!!! Write your governor and state leaders and demand they stop the actions of those in law enforcement who are breaking the law. Form groups of other like minded people and speak up!!!!!

William L. Anderson said...

I share Michael's frustration. The only thing we can do is to shine the light where we can.

Unfortunately, we now are at a point at which we shine the light on the cockroaches, and the cockroaches just wave and go on doing what they are doing. Police and prosecutors today seem to be incapable of being shamed.

Nonetheless, at least when we meet our Maker, we can say that we did something to deal with this problem.

Doc Ellis said...

Shared. Thank you

Non-Xtians: contemplate this quote

And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more—we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago Vol. I, pg. 13 (footnote 5)

I contemplate this quote often

Lookout Spy said...

It's an unspoken fact that what was once considered "police power", in other words the power to regulate a population, was a function of the concept we call "Government".

It is a fantasy if anyone believes we live in a country where government is "of, by, and for the people."

We live in a world that is governed by money, power, and the mechanisms have been placed to where we all are corporate slaves, and would deny it if were ever pointed out to our face.

Name one product, commodity, or service, besides the air you breathe, which does not have a fee attached to it that ends up being paid to a corporation or governmental entity.

Do you doubt we live in a "Corporatocracy", where money and power are vested in the artificial person at the expense of natural human beings?

liberranter said...

"We" all know what needs to be done to stop this, but "we" are not going to do it. Why not? Because it will mean putting our reputations, jobs, loved ones, and, ultimately, our lives where are mouths are. In short, sacrificing ourselves for the cause of liberty. Much easier said than done. ("Um, YOU fire that first shot. I'll follow your lead.")

KC Sprayberry said...

http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/09/27/wisconsin.da.scandal/index.html?hpt=Sbin In case anyone still believes making a lot of noise about a situation you find wrong, this is about the "I won't quit as DA but I'll go to 'therapy'" scandal of last week. Looks like the extreme disgust expressed by many and a pending hearing about removing him from office forced the Sexting DA to quit. Hooray! One win and so many more to go. But it's a beginning and a good one.

Anonymous said...

Please read and pass it on to all you know who can speak out.

more on the John Mulkey story!


http://www.justice4johnnow.com/The_Story.html

Anonymous said...

During the Duke Lacrosse Hoax, Mr. Anderson made a revealing post regarding the O.J. Simpson trial at KC Johnson's site. He wrote that he was "delighted" when Simpson received the not guilty verdict. Is Mr. Anderson willing to that to Fred Goldman's face?

I never forgot this post at Durham-In-Wonderland. I don't like crooked prosecutors anymore than William Anderson does. There is nothing to be "delighted" about when a dead-bang guilty murderer gets away with it.

Anonymous said...

The best way to punish those who are "supposed" to uphold the law (police, prosecutors and judges), but BREAK it (and their OATH) on a CONTINUOUS basis, believing they are "above" the law and without fear of punishment to themself is to apply the "old" ways of law to them. Simply put, if they feel that they have the right to destroy the lives of others, then they too shall suffer. Both them and their families. I am quite certain that once word gets out that cops, prosecutors, & judges are being targeted and executed on a CONINUOUIS basis for violations of rights and laws, the message will finally get out them that NO ONE is above the law or without punishment. That the people of this country will NOT tolerate that type of misconduct or muistrust. ALL are punishable.

Anonymous said...

The best way to punish those who are "supposed" to uphold the law (police, prosecutors and judges), but BREAK it (and their OATH) on a CONTINUOUS basis, believing they are "above" the law and without fear of punishment to themself is to apply the "old" ways of law to them. Simply put, if they feel that they have the right to destroy the lives of others, then they too shall suffer. Both them and their families. I am quite certain that once word gets out that cops, prosecutors, & judges are being targeted and executed on a CONTINUOUIS basis for violations of rights and laws, the message will finally get out them that NO ONE is above the law or without punishment. That the people of this country will NOT tolerate that type of misconduct or mistrust. ALL are punishable.