Saturday, July 13, 2024

Let's make them all convicted felons

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 9, 2024)

The precedent is set. As of May 30, 2024, every presidential administration can expect to be convicted of felonies by the next administration from the other party. Congressional members of the opposition party could be convicted, as well. They all commit felonies, most far more real and serious than the ones Donald Trump was convicted of.

Democratic former presidents and members of Congress should be convicted of felonies as soon as there's a Republican administration. Nor should the Democratic Party stop with Trump and those who represented him; there's low-hanging fruit in Congressional Republicans. This presents an opportunity to bring the federal government to a grinding halt.

Why do I say "convicted" rather than simply "charged"?

As has been pointed out by author Harvey A. Silverglate, we all commit an average of three felonies per day. This isn't because we're bad people, it's because legislation is out of control-- Congress and the President are to blame.

If an ambitious prosecutor decides to get you, you'll be gotten. As the Soviets said, "Show me the man and I'll find the crime." A carefully chosen venue, judge, hostile jury pool, and instructions from the judge to find the defendant guilty, however you have to do it, and a conviction is in the bag.

It's up to juries to put a stop to this, but most are unaware of their duty to judge the law as well as the facts of the case. If the defendant is accused of violating a law which has no victim (other than government), it is the responsibility of the jury to return a "not guilty" verdict even if they believe the defendant did what he or she was charged with. Even if Hunter Biden lied on the form when he bought a gun. This is called jury nullification. Judges used to inform juries of this duty but stopped doing so when they began acting as agents of the state rather than of justice.

No one has a right to govern another, nor to impose a politician on anyone else. I think there should be consequences for attempting to govern other people, but I think those consequences should be based on real crimes where an individual's life, liberty, or property was harmed, not a victimless "crime" where the only thing harmed is something which can't be victimized: government.

If this precedent makes it too risky to enter politics, it would be a good change.

I couldn't do this without your support.

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