Tag Archives: abuse of power

The Most Unethical Prosecutor Of All: Baltimore’s Marilyn Mosby

Mosby

In a legal ethics seminar I taught this week for government attorneys, the vast majority of them voted that Marilyn Mosby’s vainglorious announcement of charges against six officers in the death of Freddie Gray was prosecutorial abuse, and a blatant violation of professional ethics rule 3.8, which directs that (this is the Maryland version)…

The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:

(a) refrain from prosecuting a charge that the prosecutor knows is not supported by probable cause;


(e) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused and exercise reasonable care to prevent an employee or other person under the control of the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under Rule 3.6 or this Rule.

Of course it was a breach of ethics, and an outrageous one. Her statement, which I discussed here, not only overstated her justification for bringing the charges, which were rushed and announced before a careful investigation was completed, it also stated that the officers were guilty, and worse, that the charges were being brought because the demonstrating and rioting protesters has demanded it. Mosby’s words suggested that she stood with the mob. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Race

More On Our Unethical Justice Department’s Attack on Reason: Now A Publication Having Its Rights Infringed Can’t Tell The Public That The Government Is Infringing Them

obama shhhh

The detestable abuse of power represented by the U.S. Government seeking to prosecute blog commenters for obviously hyperbolic criticism of the government was noted in this post, not that it aroused half as as much interest or comment as, say, Caitlyn Jenner’s come-hither glance on the cover of Vanity Fair. Nor did much of the blogosphere take notice, and if any national news media took heed, I missed it. For how can the Obama Administration chilling free speech and harassing a libertarian blog that frequently condemns its contempt for basic rights compete with the secret guest list of the Obama’s 500 closest friends invited to dance a night away to the music of Stevie and Prince?

Now Ken White, the libertarian lawyer/blogger/free speech warrior who honors Popehat with his wisdom has uncovered a further outrage: he believes, and has good reason to believe, that the government has slapped a gag order on Reason, thus stopping the website from alerting the public and the world regarding our government’s unethical and probably illegal conduct. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Rights, The Internet, U.S. Society

Our Unethical Justice Department’s Attack on Reason

Reason

While we’re on the topic of progressive/Democratic fascism, did you hear the one about the Justice Department?

I continue to wonder when cognitive dissonance will kick in and genuine humanist liberals who have been willing to support this President and his arrogant, bumbling administration through one botch and fiasco after another finally realize that trampling on basic rights in defiance of the Constitution isn’t OK, even when done in the name of an African-American President. Time is running out, and so far, except from some notable exceptions, all I see is shrugs and smiles. “Well, they are terrorists.” “Well, they are racist cops.” “Well, it’s teabaggers.” “Well, it’s just a Faux News reporter” “Well, it’s for a good cause.” “Well, the ends justify the means.”

Will this latest example of the fascist inclinations of the hard left be a tipping point? I doubt it. The expected shrug will be “Well, they’re just asshole blog commenters.”

Let me just say this to my many progressive friends: You’re disgracing yourself, and betraying all the good values you think you stand for.

Obama’s Department of Justice has issued grand jury subpoena to force Reason.com to release the identity of commenters who made what the Justice Department claims are threats on the life of a Federal judge. Reason is a libertarian, and as far as I can tell, non-partisan, publication as well as an excellent one, but as you might expect from any source that cares about individual rights, it is very critical of the Obama administration. Not that this had anything to do with it being targeted by the Justice Department—why are you so cynical?

The topic in which these comments occurred is of no interest to me here; you can read about it in the links. The main point to ponder is that this is a frightening abuse of power, government bullying, blatant incompetence and an effort to chill free speech, especially since the Supreme Court last week ruled that a “true threat,” and thus outside the protection of the First Amendment, couldn’t possibly be like the comments in question.  Which of these comments, criticizing a federal judge’s decision against a drug dealer (a lot of Reason’s commenters love their illegal drugs) would you say is a “true threat”? Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, The Internet

Now THIS Is A Witch Hunt! The Northwestern-Laura Kipnis Ethics Train Wreck

Springfiled mob

I really tried to ignore this ridiculous story. Campus political correctness battles, like examples of public school teacher incompetence ( my head just exploded yesterday, so I refuse to write about THIS), are so common and so self-evidently whacked that the blog could easily be over-run by them. The lower education episodes are more important, I’ve concluded, because the victims are children who still might be saved from indoctrination and a life-wrecking warped concept of how authority should be wielded, and children must be protected from the kind of child abuse a lot of these episodes represent. In the college campus fiascos, much of the time, it is the students who are the initial culprits (remember, they are adults, supposedly), and the administrators are mostly the craven enablers. Initially, I thought this episode was just another example of runaway progressive fascism feeding on itself. And it is, but there is more to it than that.

To briefly summarize…Laura Kipnis is a Professor of Radio, TV and Film at Northwestern University. She wrote an entertaining article in the Chronicle of Higher Education about what she termed the ‘sexual paranoia’ on college campuses, including hers, and delivered observations about how these attitudes were strangling discourse and sane human interaction in society at large.

I wasn’t crazy about the article, because Kipnis, as I might expect from a theater prof, appears to know nothing about ethics at all. Her over-arching position is Old Sixties Berkeley: if it involves sex, chill out. I will bet my head that Kipnis was one of Bill Clinton’s defenders on the grounds that lying about sex isn’t lying, even when it’s under oath, even when it’s on TV, even when it’s to the American people’s face, even when you use your power and high office to support it. It’s sex, and sex is groovy. Who knows, she might also have defended John Edwards, and no, I have not had any respect for people like this since the Nineties. Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Professions

Outrageous, Unprofessional, Unethical Judge Michael Cicconetti

Pepper spray in the face? Uh, that's not what we mean by "blind justice"...

Pepper spray in the face? Uh, that’s not what we mean by “blind justice”…

In Painesville, Ohio, Municipal Court Judge Michael Cicconetti decreed that Diamond Gaston, tried for assault for pepper-spraying another woman in the face, had to choose between spending a month in jail or getting pepper-sprayed in her face by the victim. Judge Cicconetti—the sly fox—had secretly had the pepper-spray replaced with a saline solution without telling Gaston, who was his victim. In the same week,  Cicconetti sentenced a woman who failed to pay a cab driver for a 30 mile trip to the choice of jail time or paying $100 restitution and walking the 30 miles she stole from the cabbie. This got him on all the cable news shows, so obviously it was a great idea.

Law Professor Jonathan Turley was so upset by these absurd sentences (and others he has condemned) that his blog post on the topic is (uncharacteristically) riddled with errors, as if he wrote it while screaming as tears blurred his eyes. Maybe he did. Unlike your host, Turley is usually reserved and understated, but this really got to him. Here: my view is substantially the same as his, so let’s give the professor his say (with a little editing): Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Law & Law Enforcement

Ethics Dunce: Pope Francis

The Pope and "the Angel of Peace"...

The Pope and “the Angel of Peace”…

Sigh.

I apologize in advance to all the Catholics and others who will be offended by this post. I wish I didn’t have to write it. But I just read one too many “nyah, nyah, nyah conservatives and Republicans, you’re so big on waving God at us and now the Pope says you’re full of crap” Facebook posts from someone who would no more set foot in a church than Damien in “The Omen.”  The Pope is as fair game for criticism when he abuses his influence and power as Kylie Jenner, who was the subject of the previous post, and for similar reasons. To those who say that it is disrespectful for me to compare the Pope’s ethics to those of an ignorant 18-year-old minor celebrity drunk on her own fame, my answer is that the Pope needs to stop acting like one.

I’m going to try to avoid the mocking tone I used with Kylie, I really am.

With great power, the saying goes, comes great responsibility. What I see in this Pope is a very, very nice and well-meaning man who suddenly was given the power to have his every opinion on any subject immediately plastered all over newspapers across the world and recited by news readers as significant, and literally can’t stop himself. He told an Argentinian journalist last week that he just wants to be remembered as “good guy.”  Mission accomplished: I believe he is a good guy. He’s also an irresponsible guy, who knows or should know that his pronouncements will be exploited for political advantage by people and parties that could not care less about his Church, God and religion generally, but who will use his words  to persuade voters who feel the need to know no more about a subject that what the “Vicar of Christ” tells them.

It may be “good to be Pope,” to paraphrase Mel Brooks, and it’s also not “easy being Pope,” to paraphrase Kermit the Frog. I don’t care: he accepted the job, and with it the duty to do it responsibly. Being a responsible Pope means not shooting off your mouth about every topic that occurs to you. In that same interview, Pope Francis opined that humans care too much about pets. I get it: poverty is, by his own assessment, the single most important aspect of the Church’s mission, so it’s natural for the Pope to believe that the money spent on movies, cable TV, make-up, CDs, and Jack Russell terriers should all be given to the Clinton Foundation or his Church instead. That’s a facile opinion from someone who has a staff catering to his every whim, and who sits on billions in the Vatican Bank. Does the Pope understand loneliness? Does he have any compassion for those suffering from it? Does he understand the needs of my sister, divorced and with both children gone, and her desire to have some unconditional love in the house when she returns to an otherwise empty home,  love that  takes the form of a happy, loyal, Havanese? “Care for pets is like programmed love,” the Pope told the interviewer. “I can program the loving response of a dog or a cat, and I don’t need the experience of a human, reciprocal love.”

My response: “Shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about, and millions of people will assume you got this point of view straight from God.” Continue reading

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Filed under Animals, Around the World, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, History, Leadership, Love, Popular Culture, Religion and Philosophy

Comment of the Day: “Memorial Day Values And Ethics”

arlington-cemetery-lgPatrice, the author of this two-part Comment of the Day, is a long-time and much cherished friend. She is a strong and thoughtful liberal, but her knees never jerk; she is a Catholic theologian, but honest and realistic about the problems in that Church and others. She’s smart, tough, learned and funny, and I am always honored to have her insight presented here.

Here is her Comment of the Day on the post, Memorial Day Values And Ethics*:
Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Comment of the Day, Government & Politics, U.S. Society, War and the Military