When we think of the Salem witch trials or Sacco and Vanzetti, our impulse is to discount that anything like that could ever happen now.
Yet it does.
We have all sorts of things going wrong in our judicial “system.”
Nor has it gotten any better in the Trump-Sessions notion of “criminal justice.”
We have too many cases because “stats” drive funding rather than policy driving order and peace.
The more sensational the case, the more winning the case “trumps” doing justice.
The more sensational the case, the more likely that the accused doesn’t have the resources to fight back.
We flood our courts with “drug” cases but not like the ones I handled as a federal prosecutor in New York against large heroin suppliers.
We spend our tax dollars chasing mostly kids and adults who possess to use, in such small quantities, mostly for personal use, and they are arrested on ruses – faux probable cause to toss cars with dogs – a kind of catch and release if they find nothing after the “search” – all so they can affix a stigma to the apprehended for pot or prescription drugs that, by the fact of arrest, may haunt their quality of life, foreclosing opportunities life-long. Continue reading