Thursday, August 17, 2006

Lawful, Yes -- But Just?

by James J. Kilpatrick - August 16th, 2006 -
The story can be summarized in a paragraph. Four years ago, Angelos' former girlfriend informed federal agents that he was selling drugs at an address in Salt Lake City. Through an undercover agent, officers staged three separate buys of marijuana, then obtained a warrant for Angelos' arrest. They seized $18,000 in cash and five handguns.

Indicted on four felony counts and two lesser charges, Angelos declined the prosecutor's bargain offer of 15 years and out. When he refused to plea, federal prosecutors piled on 16 additional counts. Found guilty by a jury, he was sentenced in November 2004 to 55 years and a day in a federal prison. This past January a panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit unanimously affirmed that sentence.

\snip\ .

. . . .the judge noted that the sentence imposed on the defendant . . . . was longer than he would have received for hijacking an airplane or raping a 10-year-old child. The terrorist who is convicted of detonating a bomb in a public place and killing a bystander can expect less than 20 years.

In our revolving door criminal justice system, most criminals get an easy ride. Others who will not play along get sentences that are simply insane. It is a clear indication that the concept of justice is absent. Our judges are too busy balancing their desire to appear to be following the law while maximizing their power over society, to even pay lip service to the concept of justice.

Justice demands consistency and a reasonable expectation of fair play. In this case the prosecutors offered 15 years for selling marijuana in a system where killing people gets a typical sentence of 7 years. This defendent should have realized that the arrogant judges and prosecutors would not be impressed with his opinion about anything. His complaint that this was not fair was simply ignored. The "rule of judges" under which we operate should have been explained to him. In our system there is no such thing as reason, or consistency, or fair play, or justice. He would not play along and they made sure that the next person who questioned them would understand the cost of that. He was destroyed.

There is no justice in America's courts. The courts are corrupt.


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