Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Go to Yale, Go to Jail

The grand jury system seems contrary to the principle of protecting the individual against the overwhelming power of the State. The American Bar Association prefaces its list of FAQs and answers about grand juries as follows:
In the federal system, the courts have ruled that the grand jury has extraordinary investigative powers that have been developed over the years since the 1950s. This wide, sweeping, almost unrestricted power is the cause of much of the criticism. The power is virtually in complete control of the prosecutor, and is pretty much left to his or her good faith.
But this is the system we have got. I agreed with the Clinton impeachment although what he lied about---having sex with a consenting adult---was not a crime. Scooter Libby was convicted of lying in connection with the investigation of the Plame incident, in which no prosecutable crime existed. I don’t see how one can support what happened in one case without agreeing with the other. “Blind justice” has multiple connotations, but the idealistic meaning is that justice shall be administered without regard to one’s race, gender, class,---and political views. The Libby conviction upholds that ideal. © 2007 Stephen Yuen

No comments: