James Leroy Wilson's blog

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Not enough evidence!

How can you beat the system? In a now-old routine, Doug Stanhope says take jury duty and say "Not guilty!" (Not Safe for Work)




Just recently, I came across an episode of  Doug;s podcast from a couple of years ago (I couldn't locate the specific episode) where he talks with a lawyer who had served as a prosecutor, then defense attorney, and is now a prosecutor again. This guest said that defending those accused of victimless crimes seems like the honorable course, but you don't have any leverage. One must change the system from the inside, where prosecutors can recommend the lightest sentences or deferral programs for "criminals" who don't belong in prison.

It's a nice thought. It's also a fantasy for more than a handful of prosecutors to ever behave that way. But if there were prosecutors who like him were willing to be lenient, why can't they go further?

I was reminded of Emailgate. After the FBI investigated Hillary Clinton about her email server, the Director's conclusion was that there wasn't enough evidence to persuade a jury. The Attorney General went along with his assessment and chargers were not filed.

Why can't prosecutors who want to change the system act like that when dealing with victimless crime? Why can't they refuse to prosecute in the same spirit Stanhope would ask jurors to say "Not guilty!"

Video and audio evidence of a pound of cocaine exchanged for a wad of cash? Not enough evidence!

Semen stains and wallet left at a brothel? Not enough evidence!

An openly running brothel? Not enough evidence!

The host of unlicensed poker games admits it? Not enough evidence?

Prosecutors who refuse to enforce unjust laws wouldn't be shirking their duty, they'd be preserving justice. Which is their job.  


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