When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do? -- John Maynard Keynes

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Gross Injustice of American Justice

The following says it all on the lessons learned from the Aaron Swartz case--

The Death of Aaron Swartz - Clive Crook - The Atlantic: " . . . The prosecutor's bottom line, apparently, was that Swartz had to go to jail. In my conception of criminal justice, the prosecutor's role is to establish guilt, not pass sentence. Juries have already been substantially dispensed with in this country. (By substantially, I mean in 97 percent of cases.) If prosecutors are not only going to rule on guilt unilaterally but also, in effect, pass sentence as well, one wonders why we can't also dispense with judges. In recent years, as the Wall Street Journal has documented in a disturbing series of articles, Congress has enabled prosecutorial intimidation by criminalizing ever more conduct, passing laws that provide for or require extreme sentences, and reducing the burden of proof (through expanded application of "strict liability", where lack of criminal intent is no defense). "There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime," said John Baker, a retired Louisiana State University law professor... "That is not an exaggeration." And if a prosecutor should turn his righteous all-powerful gaze on you, you're done for. In this system, everything depends on the moderation and good sense of prosecutors. We see how well that worked in the Swartz case. Most no doubt strive to live up to those standards, but what about the ones that don't? Where's the accountability? What about crusaders for "justice" with half their minds on their next career in politics? . . ."

Where indeed!


The Big Picture

Financial Crisis - The Telegraph

JohnTheCrowd.com | The Sailing Website

Craig Newmark - craigconnects