Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Tale of Two Prosecutors

by Dorothy Rabinowitz - June 22nd, 2007 - Wall Street Journal (Opinion Journal)

The story about the Duke athletes and District Attorney Nifong was not simply a riveting drama. It was in its searing way an educational event, not just about prosecutorial ambition run amok, but about a university world--reflective of many others--where faculty ideologues pursued their agendas unchecked and unabashed. Here was a nearly successful legal lynching, applauded by a significant chunk of the Duke faculty, proud to display their indifference to questions of guilt or innocence.


For Mr. Fitzgerald, whose prosecutorial zeal and moral certitude are in no small way reminiscent of Mr. Nifong's, the victory was complete with those two final judgments: the severe sentence for Mr. Libby, and the judge's refusal, last week, to allow its postponement pending appeal. The prosecutor's argument for a heavy sentence emphasized Mr. Libby's alleged serious obstruction of justice--a complicated effort, considering that there was no underlying crime, or evidence thereof, and that this case, which had begun in alleged pursuit of the leak of a covert agent's identity was, as the prosecutor himself would finally contend, not about that leak at all.

Two trials, one of prosecutor Nifong and one by prosecutor Fitzgerald, are helping to destroy what little confidence Americans have in their corrupt court system. There will be many more articles before this is all over comparing these two prosecutors. Both hid evidence of innocence. Both show the indifference of most lawyers to what Americans view as justice.

In the Duke Case racism and the institutions of racism and sexism played the dominate role. Washington had no direct involvement in the problem. It was totally a State of North Carolina problem. A rogue prosecutor appointed by a partisan Governor ignored justice and used the courts to get re-elected. In the other case, a liberal government establishment used the courts to destroy political enemies. The common thread is the ability of prosecutors to punish those who they wish to punish for political advantage.

Our courts have become institutions of corruption.

I wonder what might have happened if George W. Bush had not announced his sanctimonious pursuit of anyone who had outed a CIA agent before the Libby trial started. It has been over a year now since it was known that Richard Armitage "outed" Valerie Plame. Since that was the CIA agent Bush was so upset about, why has he done nothing to prosecute Armitage? Why did Fitzgerald never go after Armitage? Court corruption.

Our courts are as corrupt and evil a system of extortion and blackmail as you can find in the world today. There is no justice in America because of this. These two prosecutors are perfect examples of how the system fails. One got caught and punished. The other did not. The problem is that Fitzgerald is the more common example of what happens. That is, nothing happens. Nifong is the aberration.


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