One HUGE problem in the United States is how ambitious people see prosecutor jobs like District Attorney and Attorney General as stepping stones to higher political offices.
Kamala Harris, for example, got her start as a prosecutor, first winning the office of San Francisco District Attorney back in 2003. She later became California Attorney General in 2010, then Senator in 2016.
Jumping from prosecutor to politician is extremely common. But it creates bad incentives for ambitious prosecutors to abuse the system for their own political gain.
We’ve seen this a lot lately — prosecutors bringing up ridiculous, dubious charges in high profile cases simply to increase their national name recognition. Other prosecutors will use their offices to make noise about their ‘progressive’ approach to crime, in an effort to win broad support from the left. Or they’ll often NOT prosecute prominent individuals to gain political favor.
This is extremely unethical. The criminal justice system is supposed to keep bad people off the streets. Clearly there are way too many laws criminalizing non-violent acts. And the system should ample room for discretion to give people a second chance. But not 20 years of second chances.
People like Darrell Brooks [the Waukesha mass murderer with the SUV] are on the streets because prosecutors, oftentimes for personal and political gain, simply refuse to follow the law. …
The Rule of Law was invented long ago to stop this nonsense:
Rule of Law is an idea that goes back thousands of years to the days of Hammurabi’s Code. It suggests that you can’t simply change the law whenever you want. Clear rules should be applied and followed equally across society, without exception.
A strong Rule of Law was once a major cornerstone of western civilization… right alongside capitalism, individual liberty, and a sense of community.
Each of these is vanishing at an astonishing pace. And with respect to Rule of Law, we constantly see new examples where government officials will either ignore the rules, or simply invent new rules, to do whatever they want.
Two recent examples of the bureaucracy overriding the rule of law:
Several months ago, for example, the CDC Director invented the authority to take control of the entire $10+ trillion US housing market. Obviously nothing under the Constitution or US federal law grants her that power. But she arbitrarily decided that housing fell within her jurisdiction… and hence she felt entitled to issue a moratorium on evictions.
Last week the Federal Trade Commission (whose new chairwoman is a hardcore Marxist) announced they would “identify additional legal theories” to stop mergers in the energy sector. In other words, they don’t actually have the legal authority. So they’re just going invent some new legal concept that gives them the power to do whatever they want.
The Rittenhouse example:
Last week’s verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial was another obvious example; Hunter Biden’s dad raged that he was “angry and concerned” after the jury decided Rittenhouse was NOT guilty. Yet when another jury delivered guilty verdicts against all three defendants in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, Biden proudly announced that “the guilty verdicts reflect our justice system doing its job.” It’s amazing that the President of the United States publicly opines on the health of the justice system based on whether the jurys’ verdicts meet with his personal approval.
And this is an extraordinary testament to the declining Rule of Law in America.
Not to be outdone, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Rittenhouse’s acquittal was a “gross miscarriage of justice and sets a dangerous precedent. . .” He also called for the US Department of Justice to “review” the case. It’s no longer OK for a jury to hear evidence and deliver a verdict. If that verdict doesn’t conform to what the woke mob wants, the government will ignore the law, legal tradition, and the entire system of justice, to demand the outcome that it wants.
The Rittenhouse case challenged the authority of the bureaucracy/deep-state (which is why we cheered at the result). They had pronounced him guilty of white supremacism a year ago, and were most annoyed at being contradicted by a jury of deplorables.