Nobody, your humble narrator, was handed a major victory today. Thanks in large part to excellent representation by my Public Defender, Robin Pisan, the State chose to drop three charges against me, one for Disobeying an Officer, one for driving on a suspended registration, and one for driving on a suspended license. I was not guilty of any of these offenses, the first was a case of mistaken identity, and the other two were not violations of the law, because driving on suspended whatever is only a crime when you know your license is suspended — or in legal jargon, the “Knowingly” mental state. In my case, I had not been in Keene, where I live, for months, and thus had not received any mail about my license.
But that does not mean that Justice has prevailed in these cases. Quite the opposite. Massive harm was done to me by the false arrests. It cost me thousands of dollars, and much undue pain and suffering. These arrests should never have been made. These charges should never have been brought. There was never sufficient evidence to make out the elements of the crime. The officers and prosecutors should have known that. They probably did know that. But their habit is to bring those cases they think they can win, even against innocents.
Innocents are regularly coerced into plea deals that put them in jail or prison by prosecutors who threaten them with even more draconian penalties should they dare to exercise their right to due process of law. Where once the Justice system operated by the maxim that it was better for 100 guilty men to go free than for one innocent to be imprisoned, today the Just-Us system strives for the maximum penalty it can extort from its victims, regardless of their guilt or innocence. The prosecutors are judged not on the justice of their discretion, but on the number of victims they can destroy.
This manifest injustice was struck home to me when I was in jail, and a fellow prisoner returned from court. He had been arrested for assault, and claimed self-defense. He did not have money to bail himself out. And the prosecutor had told him “If you plead guilty, you will serve 30 days. If you plead not guilty, you will be held until your trial, which commences in 45 days”. Being acquitted would have resulted in 15 additional days in jail for him. So he took the plea.
Does anybody care about this manifestly unjust system? Nobody cares! And Nobody is going to do something about it!
So join the Cause, and Elect Nobody!
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