Chicago Boyz

What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?

Recommended Photo Store
Buy Through Our Amazon Link or Banner to Support This Blog
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Lex's Tweets
  • Jonathan's Tweets
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Thought Experiment

    Posted by Jonathan on April 12th, 2007 (All posts by )

    Re this and this, can anyone imagine a recent attorney general of New York or California making a statement like the one Cooper made in contrite recognition of a malicious prosecution?

    UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds writes, in part:

    MORE: A lefty blogger wonders why people care. Aside from the obvious — it’s a manifest injustice in a case that got loads of publicity — I think it underscores that the political/media system isn’t living up to the standards of fairness it sets. In the conventional imagination, it used to be — see To Kill a Mockingbird or reports of the Scottsboro rape trial — that it was the noble fairness-obsessed lefties who supported due process against the ignorant right-wing hicks who tried to lynch people out of a mixture of racism, political opportunism borne of racism, journalistic sensationalism, and sheer meanness. Now the hats have switched. That’s worth noting.

    I think that’s right. My hunch, and this relates to my original point, is that while abuses of police and prosecutorial power probably happen everywhere, they are more likely to go unremedied in entrenched, one-party political cultures like those that exist in some of the so-called blue states.


    5 Responses to “Thought Experiment”

    1. Ginny Says:

      Jonathan & Reynolds are right. This turns on its head a long tradition (that was not without some basis) in which we see the justice system chew up the less powerful; in Twelve Angry Men the divisions were on class & ethnic lines rather than racial ones.

      But some of our interest arose because we were long suspicious of the ideas of the Duke 88; this case demonstrated how pernicious ideas that seemed witty, speculative, interesting, could be when taken seriously. And we realized that some people actually did take these positions seriously – even when it meant a clear miscarriage of justice. It was just another of many jolts that brought home reality in the last few years.

    2. EnlightenedDuck Says:

      Having voted in the last election in Durham, let me assure you that Durham counts as having an entrenched party – there were *very* few elections that were contested.

      Last I checked, NC was a Red State, though Durham is a Blue County.

    3. zenpundit Says:

      Setting aside Mr. Nifong’s ethical deficits and deficiencies of character and judgment for the moment I have a brief observation. Mixing the stridently adversarial culture of the American legal system – which prosecutors are professionally obligated to rise above – with our anything goes local-level partisan politics, is a prescription for tempting DA’s to abuse their power.

    4. Jonathan Says:

      When have they not abused their power? The ambitious ones have always used big prosecutions — justified or not — as stepping stones to higher office. Giuliani and Spitzer are merely two recent examples.

    5. zenpundit Says:

      Point taken, Jonathan. Ambition however, I think, manifests itself differently in appointive positions where the prosecutor is aiming at, perhaps, a Federal judgeship down the road, instead of elective office. Demonstrating sound legal reasoning and a moderate temperment would weigh more heavily in encouraging restraint there.

      Perhaps Law schools should devote greater time to teaching ethics ?

    Leave a Reply

    Comments Policy:  By commenting here you acknowledge that you have read the Chicago Boyz blog Comments Policy, which is posted under the comment entry box below, and agree to its terms.

    A real-time preview of your comment will appear under the comment entry box below.

    Comments Policy

    Chicago Boyz values reader contributions and invites you to comment as long as you accept a few stipulations:

    1) Chicago Boyz authors tend to share a broad outlook on issues but there is no party or company line. Each of us decides what to write and how to respond to comments on his own posts. Occasionally one or another of us will delete a comment as off-topic, excessively rude or otherwise unproductive. You may think that we deleted your comment unjustly, and you may be right, but it is usually best if you can accept it and move on.

    2) If you post a comment and it doesn't show up it was probably blocked by our spam filter. We batch-delete spam comments, typically in the morning. If you email us promptly at we may be able to retrieve and publish your comment.

    3) You may use common HTML tags (italic, bold, etc.). Please use the "href" tag to post long URLs. The spam filter tends to block comments that contain multiple URLs. If you want to post multiple URLs you should either spread them across multiple comments or email us so that we can make sure that your comment gets posted.

    4) This blog is private property. The First Amendment does not apply. We have no obligation to publish your comments, follow your instructions or indulge your arguments. If you are unwilling to operate within these loose constraints you should probably start your own blog and leave us alone.

    5) Comments made on the Chicago Boyz blog are solely the responsibility of the commenter. No comment on any post on Chicago Boyz is to be taken as a statement from or by any contributor to Chicago Boyz, the Chicago Boyz blog, its administrators or owners. Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners, by permitting comments, do not thereby endorse any claim or opinion or statement made by any commenter, nor do they represent that any claim or statement made in any comment is true. Further, Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners expressly reject and disclaim any association with any comment which suggests any threat of bodily harm to any person, including without limitation any elected official.

    6) Commenters may not post content that infringes intellectual property rights. Comments that violate this rule are subject to deletion or editing to remove the infringing content. Commenters who repeatedly violate this rule may be banned from further commenting on Chicago Boyz. See our DMCA policy for more information.