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posticon Editorial - Impeaching Confidence in the Law

Opinions | Friday, January 24, 2020 | By Dan Veaner Print
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Editorial

I think most Americans can agree that the Trump impeachment trial is rigged.  I expect that conservatives are thrilled about that and liberals are outraged.  Before anyone gets too 'holier than thou', we should remember that the parties were making their opposite arguments when Clinton was impeached.  The biggest problem with both impeachments is that they have destroyed Americans' faith in the criminal justice system.  Because if the people who make the laws for as important a country as the United States are not willing to judge a plaintiff based on facts, documents, and witnesses, why should the public trust any court?

As many Supreme Court justices do, Chief Justice John Roberts has been a surprise.  When he was appointed by President Bush it was widely expected that he would lean the court toward conservative rulings, but he has actually garnered a reputation for keeping the Supreme Court non-partisan.  Presiding over the impeachment trial, he is swept in the tide of partisan maneuvering and rules that, at best, give the trial the appearance of a 'not guilty' verdict being preordained.  Will he be able to preside over a fair trial when there are so many powerful forces trying to make it not be fair, one way or the other?

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posticon Thoughts - Criminal Justice -- Reform?

Opinions | Friday, January 24, 2020 | By Casey Stevens Print
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Caseythoughts So, let's set the scene, so to speak. You have progressives hollering for bail 'reform' here locally (in conjunction with adamantly refusing to contemplate building a new jail) and across New York state. Their reasoning, most likely flawed. To quote Irene Flores of Legal Assistance of Western New York: "...I think it makes the system more fair, especially for people who are of a certain racial group...there are a lot of African-Americans and Hispanics who are jailed because they could not afford bail."

Wrong, Ms. Flores (and those who agree with her raison d'etre), they were jailed because law enforcement and a judge decided they may have committed a crime and are not only liable to harm the community (again) but may also not show up to court without a monetary impetus. It has naught to do with their 'poverty', but their alleged criminal activity and potential for further criminal mischief. I am reminded of Lenny Bruce's mockery of their reasoning, stating, in reference to a Ku Klux Klan member: "...remember there's no good or bad, they are merely a part of their environment."

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