Ann Althouse is looking at what makes Mike Nifong or as I expect, the soon to be JailFong, different from other prosecutors? Was it the elements of the case: sex, athletes, strippers, and a hooker? Or was it his behavior?
Which got me to thinking. The whole Drug War is prosecutorial misconduct.
We now know from the NIDA no less that Addiction Is A Genetic Disease.
So why does the Drug War continue? For the major reason that you have prosecutorial misconduct. It is popular. Nifong did what he did because he thought it would be popular where he lived. He was right.
Commenter at Ann's place Bruce Hayden had this to say at 11:54 AM:
Realistically though, I don't see most prosecutors crossing the line. I personally have a much better experience with them than I do with cops, in the area of abusing the power of their offices. More than once, I have seen prosecutors dismiss overreaching charges filed by the cops, sui sponte.Bruce,
That is not to say that they don't work with the cops to overcharge in order to plea bargain into what they consider a reasonable sentence. You see this all the time - where they have charged a dozen felonies, and plea bargain to one or two. Many times, the added charges are not all that strong, but the chance that the prosecution might win on one or two of them is all it takes to rationalize a plea bargain, even if you know yourself to be innocent.
That is exactly how I see it. Prosecutors have the tools to railroad any one they want and they prefer to use the tools only on the guilty.
No one cares as long as it is done to "them". It is when it is done to "us" that people rise up. Who ever the "us" is that gets catered to.
We have in fact condoned the railroading of the guilty. No surprise if the innocent get caught up in that little machine every now and then.
Cross Posted at Classical Values