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June 13, 2007

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Whose Laws Are They Anyway?

At the end of March, I wrote a blog on Philip Thompson, an aide to Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) who was nabbed with a handgun as he was entering the Sam Rayburn Office Building (LINK) on the 26th of that month. The handgun belonged to the senator, and it was (and is) unclear how Thompson happened to have it. He was taken off to jail where he spent the night, and released the next day on his own recognizance, facing charges of illegal handgun possession.

Now if that were you or me, we would be in a world of trouble. The least we would be facing was a jury trial, or a guilty plea, and lawyer’s fees, and certainly a fine, and possible jail time. But, as I pointed out in the blog, Mr. Thompson was not you or me. He is pals with a United States senator, and someone was going to make a phone call to someone, and the whole thing would be forgotten.

And on April 29, that’s exactly what happened. All charges against Mr. Thompson were dropped. According to Jeffrey Taylor, the top prosecutor in the District of Columbia, “…the essential elements of the crime of carrying a handgun without a license could not be proved.”

Oh. Well, we are all very glad that once more, justice has been served.

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Comments

Don Adams

Isn't it sad that not one of us are surprised?

I think that though it is sad, it is true and something definately needs to be done about it. In this country we are all equal right? If so, then if Hillary Clinton was guilty of first degree murder, she should go away for life right? Political corruptness caused every other country in history to fall and will sadly happen to America eventually. And because senators can have guns illegally, the downfall is happening and that pisses off good citizens like myself.

Mtnhunter

If the Clinton's can evade all accountability for Whitewater and the trail of bodies of former associates and Bush could evade his Air National Guard duties and O.J. still plays golf, why are we ever surprised at the inequality of application of "justice". I learned a long time ago that the crimainal justice system is FOR criminals and there is no justice.

Chad Love

Hmmm, I believe it was my favorite quotable misanthrope who famously opined that "democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve."
Dovetails quite nicely with that other favorite misanthrope who coined the famous phrase "All animals are equal, but some some animals are more equal than others."
Really, no one should be under the delusion that proles in America fare any better than proles anywhere else. To think otherwise is mindless, chest-thumping, flag-waving naivete.
The fact is, "Justice" is a concept that is wholly relative to your socio-economic station in life. The higher you are on the ladder, the more justice you are afforded by the system.
I (like many readers I'm sure) descend from a long line of thick-ankled, heavy-browed European serfs who - after some 150-odd years of back-breaking sweat and sacrifice in pursuit of some small measure of happiness - have become marginalized as the obscenely wealthy and powerful and their duly elected servants consolidate even more wealth, power and privilege into fewer and fewer hands.
But hey, no worries. Democracy's fine, folks. Go back to your Ipods, your Myspace and your 60-inch plasma. Consume a little more, it'll make you feel better.
If you are a hedge fund manager, a defense contractor, a corporate CEO or apparently a senatorial aide, the United States has the most effective representative democracy in history.
The rest of us better know our place and keep our ass in line.

Countertop

He was entering the Russel Senate Office Building. Rayburn, on the other side of the Capitol, is a house office building.

Make me and all common people be in the same line of justice as high rankers, and this would be one f&*#[email protected] up country!

opium

What implements illbelaiden use of tyrannical authority over such serfs upon infinity mtnhunter? Only coliderance and bolophtomy can govern arrogance such as yours. Low class won't always be foreseen as inappreciable and illbestowed for referencial's sake.

opium

say what

your mom

Opium took my response.

Steve C

There is nothing in the Constitution or anywhere else that guarantees justice. And if you're looking for fair, there's one every June at the state capitol.

Contrary to the myth, we're not a country of justice. We're a country of laws. Laws can be enforced, bent, twisted, and ignored.

And for you champions of justice, don't be so selective where you draw the line on what's right and wrong. Remember that next time you drive 10mph over the speed limit, cut & paste copywrited material from the internet, or cheat on your golf score.

skunk

Hey dave, this is off the subject but; what do you think of a jarrett in 280 actly improved???

Dave Petzal

To Skunk: I am all for Jarretts, but I'm no fan of the .280 Ackley Improved. I owned for for a short while, and found that the only way I could better a standard .280 was by loading so hot I blew primers. I had the rifle rebarreled to .270 and liked it just fine after that.
I think that even Kenny has backed off the .280 Ackley. His number-one round is now the .300 Jarrett.

Chad Love

Now granted, I'm but a lowborn knave whose head hurts when he thinks too hard, but I always assumed that law and justice were two sides of the same coin.
No offense, Steve, but I don't buy your assertion that just because there isn't an explicit guarantee of justice in the Constitution that it doesn't address it, and I believe most Constitutional scholars (other than a few wacky hard-core literalists) would agree.
I find it a little hard to believe the founding fathers weren't interested in the concept of justice as an intrinsic right, whether it's as explicit as an amendment or implied.
Then again, I've always been a bonehead, so mebbe I'm wrong.


about as entwined outside of a few of the wackier ultra-right Constitutional literalists,

Chad Love

whoops, disregard that sentence fragment. See, told you I'm a bonehead...

Jim Kiser

Just remember folks it isn't if you are democrat or republican that counts what counts is do the people with money back you. The Kennedys have dope,booze and kill women who disagree with them. The Bushes skate and play with our money and the lives of our children mean nothing. The Clintons kill and cheat hundreds out of money. I told friends of mine that people of money and the power of money do what they want and the rest of us be damned. I hope every one notes that almost all of the U.S. Senators and many of the congressman are multi millioniares. AS was noted previously by another poster you get what you vote for. The people of the country keep voting for a nanny state and what they are going to get is a nanny with a big belt. Keep your powder dry as the life of this country is about over.

It's AIDS. He won't last much longer. CIA is pumping super-resistant TB into the wind currents, and as soon as it hits, that will finish him. What then? Cremation, I figure, then Raoul will begin his purges.

Revolutionary Socialist League

I see her now, crouched like a spider in the dark cave entry, dressed (scantily) in the skin of a short-faced bear, her hair a wild tangle of burrs and sticks, eyes burning like a leopard's, Steve Irwin's scalp tucked into her leather medicine bag (made from the scrotum of a rhinocerous)and clutching a stone-tipped spear made from a fir sapling and dodo feathers.

As the herd of wild pleistocene p!gs approaches, she tenses her sinewy muscles and her ocher-ed lips pull back in a ferocious grimmace! Her rump rocks slightly, like that of a cat about to spring from a crouch at its prey...

The little Nazi bear is considered by many to be a likely successor to ailing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Revolutionary Socialist League

LOF was seen on the upper (non-public) observation area of the Empire State Building wearing a screaming pink Sheezer penguin suit and singing Russian Revolution-era Communist anthems in a piercing, mirror-cracking falsetto. His fierce little dog, Nikita, danced with the Swiss Guards, much to the Pope's delight.

Bigbenr

Your Lordship would treat me as if I were one of the vulgar.If this finds your Lordship either not alone, or not at leisure, ... My servant hath my directions to put this into your Lordship’s owne hand.God keep your lordship in that gracious mind! HASTINGS. But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence, That they who brought me in my master's hate.Many good morrows to my noble lord! It is a reeling world, indeed, my lord. Indeed, I am no mourner for that news.'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord, when men are unprepared and look not for it.Come, come, have with you. Wot you what, my lord? To-day the lords you talk of are beheaded.They, for their truth, might better wear their heads Than some that have accused them wear their hats. But come, my lord, let us away.

Revolutionary Socialist League

THE TOWERS ARE DOWN. CHENEY HAS GOT THE GOAT. THEY HAVE PARIS HILTON IN A SECURE PSYCH WARD. CASTRO IS ABOUT TO GO. CIA IS HOLDING B!LLY GRAHAM INCOMMUNICADO SOMEWHERE IN MISSOURI. CHINA IS BANKROLLING HILLARY 08.

SIX SEALS. COUNT THEM! SIX SEALS, PEOPLE, AND ONLY ONE MORE SEAL TO GO.

WHEN THE WHIP COMES DOWN, THAT IS NUMBER SEVEN. THE BIGGIE!!! WHEN THE WHIP COMES DOWN, THE SEVEN SEALS WILL BE OPENED, AND THE END TIME WILL BEGIN.

IT'S ALL IN THE AZTEC CALENDAR, AND YOU CAN BET THE BILDERBERGER HAS HAD IT ALL FIGURED OUT FROM THE BEGINNING. WHEN THE SEVEN SEALS ARE OPENED AND THE APOCALYPSE COMES DOWN, THE BILDERBERGER WILL COMMANDEER THE WOOD'S HOLE INSTITUTE SUBS AND HIGH TAIL IT FOR ATLANTIS. THE REST OF US WILL JUST BE TOAST. WOULDN'T YOU JUST KNOW IT? THE LITTLEMAN GETS IT IN THE BUTT, SAME AS ALWAYS!

Dr. Ralph

Justice is for those who can afford it. How many Black Rifles does it take?

RJ Arena

Dave,
you sure draw an interesting crowd!

When one politician can get away with a crime, they all can. Regardless of whether you are a Democrat or Republican, all the representatives should be held to the highest standards; none should get a pass on anything out of party loyalty. Country before party, and each party should be the hardest on their own for breaking the rules, not on the other side.

When I hear a fellow American complain about abuses, I want to listen to see if there is anything I can do. Yet lately since I am a liberal, I tend to tune out the complaints of the conservatives as they label me all sorts of vile things. That is the goal of those who say such things, to divide us, to get us to stop seeing other Americans as Americans but as some sort of enemy to be loathed. It is the classic divide and conquer. It lets those who truly do not care about the future of this nation do the things they want to do.

We are all first and foremost Americans and we all need to start treating each other as such. We are all we have. If we don't defend each other, then who will?

Grmart

Dave,
I posted on this back in March as well. I had the same thing happen to me here on Capitol Hill (about 5 blocks from where Webb's aide got caught)in 2006. I'm just Joe 6-pac and got caught with a pistol. Spent the night in jail, but, as the assesting cop told me, that was about all. Court appointed lawyer, went to court, Judge chuckled and let me go. No money out of pocket, nada, zip, zero.
There are some sane Judges here. They know the law is BS, so come on. Not everyone is out to get us. We need some good stories now and then, this doom and gloom sure gets old!! But then, you or no one else replied last time I posted on this lame subject.
Cheers,
George




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