I’ve got my absentee GOP ballot to complete before travel, but the choices this season seem harder than usual.
For Prosecutor, maybe I’m rationalizing, but the challenger appears to have made one promise of substance: to file charges anytime the police have worked up a plausible case.
Sounds great until you reckon with how the system actually works. Resources are limited. Exercise of discretion not to charge preserves resources.
But I have a bigger personal issue related to resources. Neither the prosecutor’s office nor the courts can take all those extra cases to trial. Most of them are going to be plea bargained. And therein lies a personal bugaboo.
Some of those defendants are going to be innocent. “Innocent” as in “didn’t do it,” not “could wiggle out of it.” For instance, setting aside police corruption and laziness (which do occur — visit the Innocence Project for a while if you doubt me), some cases are built of circumstantial evidence which can make an innocent-but-unlucky person look pretty guilty.
So imagine when (not whether; it will happen) an innocent person is charge with something that, if they’re convicted, is likely to land them in prison for 25 years. The prosecutor offers to let them plead to a lesser offense — perhaps negligent homicide instead of murder — with only a five-year sentence, only one year to be served according to the plea offer. Defendant has a family, and children. So why not take the deal? If he’s guilty, it’s kind of a no-brainer.
But for the innocent defendant, pleading guilty means committing perjury because, at least in my fair state, the defendant will be required to testify under oath that he committed each and every element of the lesser offense, which, in the case of an innocent defendant, will be be perjurious.
No, he won’t get charged with perjury, but he’ll be guilty in God’s eyes, won’t he? (I finally gave up the ambiguity about the sex of the defendant; it likely will be a guy.)
I’d much rather not have a Prosecutor who got elected by promising to file plausible circumstantial cases against even innocent defendants.
So my vote in the Prosecutor’s race goes to the incumbent, the considerable opposition to whom I don’t understand (although I know he can be a hard-ass and can forsake justice to please vindictive police at times).
Now for the harder case.
All three primary candidates for U.S. Senate promise to be loyal foot-soldiers in the Trump army, which is a turnoff since the only Trump agenda I know for sure is racial and religious demonization and demagoguery.
Do I vote for the Congressman who most seems equivocal, perhaps even insincere, in his promise, who the others accuse of being a liberal (and who seemed to have some troubles with John Barleycorn in his twenties)? Or do I vote for the one who’s an outsider, a successful businessman, with some state legislative experience but several lawsuits against his company alleging underpayment of workers in several state business outposts? (I definitely will not vote for my current Congressman, who lied like an S.O.B. In his first Congressional race, hasn’t stopped since, and even sports a smirk suggesting that he considers the voters rubes.)
I can tell you this much: whoever I vote for in the Senate primary cannot bank on my vote in the general election. This is one of the extremely rare times where there’s a Democrat I could vote for in good conscience, who has bucked his feticidal party on abortion extremism.
Speaking of which, I’m aware of my state’s shortcomings, but it warms my heart to hear the shared GOP mantra “pro-life conservative.”
Yeah, fool me ((2016-1973)/2) times, shame on you. Fool me ((2018-1973)/2) times, shame on me. I’ve figured out that the GOP is mostly talk on abortion, but if hypocrisy is the tribute paid to virtue by vice, it’s nice to know we’ve got a bit of cockeyed, arguably naïve virtue in our electorate.
That’s all I have to say, and don’t bet that I won’t change my mind. I’m not mailing my ballot until May 1, just in case more merde hits the air-mover.
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Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
(Philip K. Dick)
The waters are out and no human force can turn them back, but I do not see why as we go with the stream we need sing Hallelujah to the river god.
(Sir James Fitzjames Stephen)