Since the United States Supreme Court created unequal justice by giving prosecutors immunity for misconduct in Imbler v Pachtman, additional case law and legislation has created more loopholes for our nation’s anything-but-finest to slither through.
The deadly fiasco extends beyond the thousands upon thousands of intact wrongful convictions.
Our nation’s genuinely finest officers, agents, prosecutors and judges have to tolerate the slitherers … daily. And I have some idea of how good officers get through their days, because I’ve asked. If the very best refuse promotions to stay away from the very worst, the cream of the crop doesn’t rise to the surface. Everyone loses.
So here’s hoping that Herb Whitlock and Gordon “Randy” Steidl are so successful in pressing ahead with their suit for actual justice for the years they wrongfully served behind bars that Imbler v Pachtman and every piece of no-fault nonsense like it goes the way of Plessy v Ferguson, the now-defunct hideous endorsement of separate-but-equal facilities that stood for (humiliating) decades.
Criminals should face consequences. Always. Even if the criminals are officers, agents, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, governors, legislators, reporters, media executives, presidents.
Our harshest penalties should be reserved for those who violate the public trust, recklessly endangering us by knowingly putting the wrong people behind bars, and/or knowingly keeping them there.