Indeed, I think the packing analogy seems to fit what is going on not only with Maricopa County prosecutors, but with American prosecutors in general. They have an institution called a court, and they have a jumbled bunch of information, and then they proceed to pack all of that information into what is called a criminal case.
Now, there are times when the information fits better than O.J.'s glove (lots better), and the case is obvious: the accused did it. There are other times when it is clear enough that the accused did it, but getting to a point of trial and a conviction takes some creativity, as the fellow and I had to employ in order to make everything fit.
And, then there are times when prosecutors engage in conduct for which the only analogy can be the venerable "I'll make it fit!" advertisement that Midas Mufflers ran many years ago on television. If anything can describe what Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon, and, to a lesser degree, Rachel Alexander have done in their prosecutorial tenure in Maricopa County, I think Midas ad "fits" better than anything else (to use an ironic term). Indeed, I don't have to make the case for disbarment fit at all; it is obvious to anyone who looks into this situation that these three miscreants do not need to be in positions of power and authority. They should be in jail.
What exactly did the Unholy Trinity do to have an investigator for the Arizona State Bar recommend that the man who narrowly missed winning the Republican primary for Arizona attorney general (and most likely would have won the general election) should have his law license taken away, along with his two partners-in-crime?
Thomas and Aubuchon worked together to indict and prosecute people who were political enemies of the infamous sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio, as well as being seemingly vulnerable to abusive prosecutions.
The investigator's report is available here. The Phoenix New Times describes some of the allegations as follows:
A "reckless, four-year campaign of corruption and power abuse."I remember when the North Carolina State Bar filed charges against Mike Nifong, charges that ultimately led to his disbarment. Like Nifong, Thomas, Aubuchon, and Alexander have claimed that the whole thing is nothing more than a "political witch hunt" in which the Unholy Trinity is being good conservatives who only care about law and order and good government. These are people who have scoffed at the law or who have de facto declared themselves to be the law.
That's how retired Judge Charles E. Jones categorized the evidence against ex-County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his one-time hatchet-woman, former Deputy County Attorney Lisa Aubuchon, in probable-cause statements filed today that could lead to disbarment for both lawyers.
Jones also slammed the pair's legal rampage as wasteful to the taxpayers and vindictive in the extreme.
"Motivation for much of the alleged impropriety appears retaliatory," noted Jones, "intended to do personal harm to the reputations of Judges, County Supervisors, and other county officials.
"Actions by Respondent appear intent on intimidation, focused on political gain, and appear fully disconnected from professional and prosecutorial standards long associated with the administration of justice, particularly criminal justice."
Furthermore, these three were the darlings of the Christian conservatives and the hard right of Arizona. (Alexander -- with her brother -- runs a blog called Intellectual Conservative which claims to be at least somewhat libertarian, although you could have fooled me.)
No doubt, many of the Usual Suspects (Arizona Right to Life, Focus on the Family, and other such groups) will claim that the "liberal establishment" is out to get these fine, upstanding Christians. As a theologically conservative evangelical (out of the Reformed camp), I had always thought that the Scriptures told people to do justice, not to make it up as they went along.
In fact, if the standards of Old Testament Law were applied to the behavior of the Unholy Trinity, they would be facing a mob that would be preparing to stone them into eternity. One cannot lie and "do justice." One cannot knowingly bring false charges and "do justice." One cannot go on moral crusades against innocent people and "do justice."
If you want to understand just how dishonest and vindictive the Unholy Trinity really are, read about the Matt Bandy case in which Thomas turned all of his tax-funded guns loose on a 16-year-old boy with no criminal record. It is absolutely clear that Thomas really did not care if Bandy was guilty or innocent of downloading child pornography on his computer. He just wanted to look good so people like James Dobson and Gary Bauer and their allies would declare him to be a hero "saving the children."
The culture of lying and abuse that pervaded Andrew Thomas' office when he was County Attorney of Maricopa County has managed to outlive Thomas' reign of terror. As Carola Jacobson has found, prosecutors in Maricopa County really don't care about guilt or innocence or even the truth. They just wanted to win, period, no matter what the costs and no matter if the innocent were destroyed.
THAT is the legacy of Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon, and Rachel Alexander. I do hope they enjoy their post-legal careers and only wish that they could enjoy their tarnished years while residing in the Crowbar Motel, which is where they belong.