Scott Horton, of Harper's has a superb piece today about the critical role that federal prosecutors play in our democracy, and how the trust prosecutors have traditionally held has been steadily eroded in recent years.
The misdeeds of numerous federal prosecutors is in the process of being exposed, especially in states such as Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. But Horton says that exposing the wrongdoing is not enough. He says a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate cases that appear to have been politically manipulated.
I think this is an excellent idea, but I hope a special prosecutor would look at both sides of the selective-prosecution issue. The emphasis, so far, has been on cases (such as the Don Siegelman case) where the Bush Department of Justice (DOJ) appears to have gone after someone for political reasons. But there also are cases where the Bush DOJ does not go after people, true wrongdoers, for political reasons.
That's what I've experienced here at Legal Schnauzer. While the Republican-led DOJ goes after Democrats like Siegelman in Alabama or Paul Minor/Wes Teel/John Whitfield in Mississippi, it ignores wrongdoing that I have witnessed by Republican judges in Alabama.
In fact, I have evidence of how Alice Martin, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, has taken affirmative steps to sweep the Legal Schnauzer case under the proverbial rug. I will be posting about that in detail in the days ahead.
One other point to add to Horton's piece. He focuses on federal prosecutors, but I have witnessed abuse of power by state prosecutors as well. I saw prosecutors in Shelby County, Alabama, butcher a case in which I was the victim of criminal trespass. The poor handling of the case--along with a corrupt judge--led to an acquittal, which allowed the trespasser to sue me for malicious prosecution. More recently, the same guy who trespassed committed felony assault against me. But Shelby County prosecutors are insisting it was misdemeanor assault, contrary to the clearly written Alabama statute (and case law). I refuse to sign a criminal complaint for a misdemeanor when I know it is a felony, so the guy is likely to get away with another crime.
Much more to come on the subject of corrupt state prosecutors in Alabama.