I have mixed feelings about the Ted Stevens case. I am convinced he's corrupt, but I also think you can't just skip due process and convict just because you think someone is guilty.
I am convinced there was horrible misconduct by prosecutors, and I am always happy to see this result in criminal charges against prosecutors who do that, but it is sad that this only seems to happen when a defendant is a rich person with strong political connections. (And probably white as well, though this is more likely because most people who are rich with strong political connections are white - being white sure won't help you against prosecutorial misconduct if you are white but poor and have no connections).
So it annoys me that much is being made of how horrible this is without placing it in the context of just how routine prosecutorial misconduct is. And how it almost never is punished. It also almost never results in a reversed conviction.
So I have mixed feelings about this. When the same sort of attention and outrage is placed about misconduct done against poor defendants on a routine basis, I'll take heart. Right now, though all the right words and fury is there about prosecutorial misconduct, I think this will quickly fade, be seen as an anomoly by the press, and the routine crushing of defendants will quietly continue in courts across the nation.
4 years ago