My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Pennsylvania Attorney General. I do not believe the charges against her and I can imagine and relate to what she is probably feeling at this point in time. The United States Criminal Justice system needs a good overhaul and the country’s elected/appointed District Attorneys top the list. It is well known that ‘prosecutorial discretion’ is the ‘law’ of the land…..I’m sure Kathleen Kane has used it to her benefit a number of times….
‘Prosecutorial Discretion’ refers to the fact that government prosecuting attorneys have nearly absolute and unreviewable power to choose whether or not to bring criminal charges, and what charges to bring in cases where the evidence would justify charges. This authority provides the essential ‘license’ to the prevailing practice of plea bargaining, and guarantees that American prosecutors are among the most powerful of public officials….if not THE most powerful…The general acceptance of prosecutorial discretion in the United States is closely linked to our adversarial system of justice. The adversarial principle is generally taken to mean that judges in American courts are not commissioned to investigate cases, determine the truth and provide justice. Instead, the courts are understood as dispute-settling institutions, in which judges take a more passive role, considering only such facts as are presented to them by the parties, and deciding only such issues as are necessary to resolve the disputes as presented.
Criminal cases are seen as disputes between government and individuals accused of a crime. Just as a plaintiff in a civil suit has the option of withdrawing the claim, or settling it privately with the defendant, in which case the court has no further role, so in a criminal case, the prosecutor, as representative of the government, can decide that the interests of his/her client are best served by not taking any legal action at all, or by settling for relief short of what could in theory be available if litigation were pursued to its final conclusion. On essentially the same reasoning, the American system recognizes a formal plea of guilty by a criminal defendant as a conclusive resolution of the case that removes the need for judicial inquiry into the facts.
The sad part of this is that ‘prosecutorial discretion’ is worsening around the country from all levels and there is not much that can be done about it….it is common knowledge that ‘Prosecutors’ or ‘District Attorneys’ choose cases that they are ‘sure’ that they will ‘win’….they don’t ALWAYS ‘win’ but they try to hedge their bets….
93% of all people in the world tell ‘lies’….and that number includes ministers….and even Methodist ministers…..Years’ ago, I was affiliated with a very poorly run NFP in the mid-west. I had been invited on the Board of Trustees by the recently hired minister and within six (6) months of time, the NFP went through a ‘change’ due to the fact that this wonderfully, creative ‘new’ minister was a lesbian and the other members of the Board of Trustees, including the former minister of this NFP (asked to leave for various and sundry reasons), decided that they were going to take the ‘direction’ of the Methodists, Presbyterians and whatever other ‘denomination’ wrote to complain of their monies going to activities that were not sanctioned by these prosperous and stellar religious organizations. The job of terminating this lesbian minister was left in my hands…..I had an HR background….actually, I welcomed the task….she was my friend and I admired her….she was (and hopefully still is) a United Church of Christ minister who had adopted a young man from the Dominican Republic and was raising him herself. She was kind, considerate and ambitious….positive and affirming and I wanted to tell her what was going on so that she would not be any more hurt than necessary. She very quietly left the area and the former NFP minister was given his job back, much to my chagrin and sadness. I never forgave the Methodists for that action and demand….for what these religious organizations do is send a letter stating that ‘funding’ will be disrupted since the intent of their monies is not being followed….convenient, huh?
The Methodists intervened again a few years later when they decided that the ‘new’, ‘former’ minister was letting his anarchist, threatening, perverse behavior come through in the operations of the NFP and they again, demanded a change in the leadership or funding would be disrupted. I was on my way out….a cross country move in order to begin my life in a saner part of the country….my daughter ready to begin college….I’d lived around the world for nearly 30 years….ready to settle down near my family again in the part of this country where I was born and raised….the Methodists won that battle….they withdrew their funding but the corrupt minister stayed and the rest is history….he stayed and lied….and lies to this day….
….but, that was not the end of my association with Methodists, ministers and corrupt prosecutors…..since this is a BLOG about Human Resources and ethics in the workplace as well as the proper way to operate in a workplace or operate a workplace, I will continue this story at a later date….just let it be written that the next ‘Methodist’ that I had the misfortune to work with/for asked me to lie, stole trust fund monies from his spouses’ employees, lied to his employees, attorneys and accountants and actually lied in court….but, that is not atypical of some individuals and probably not this particular minister….what is not typical is that this minister has been appointed by the Regional Association of Methodists as the Senior Minister of a major, metropolitan Methodist congregation. How is that for a little package, all tied up with a bow…or is it bough??? To be continued…..
I’ve been fighting against our Criminal Justice system’s corruption all of my adult life. I’ve been a member of civic organizations that attempt to protect the individual as well as fighting against corrupt police, detectives, attorneys and prosecutors….the record should be set straight that what someone does for a living does not necessarily mean that they will be good and upstanding citizens….I’ve used the excuse of the ‘Unabomber’ for years….just because he has/had a PhD, it does not mean that he was going to use his education for the betterment of society….just because someone is a member of a police corps/detective bureau/ministry or District Attorney’s office does not mean that they are going to do good….in fact, on many occasions, they are the cause of the problem. I hope that Kathleen Kane is made whole and the charges against her are dropped….however, knowing the corrupt system and the fact that she is probably dealing with someone who will lie in court, the chances of my hopes coming to fruition are very slim.
Please keep as positive a frame of mind as possible, whether you are an employee, business owner or in a position of power if confronted with anyone who wants to bring actions against you. There will always be individuals in the world who feel that their objective in life takes precedence over yours and they will justify to themselves all of their actions. Don’t worry….in the long run, it does not work for them…never does and never will…even if the colored paperclips continue to fly….If you would like to have more information about ‘prosecutorial discretion’, it would be beneficial to contact a local law school or an independent legal entity. In the meantime, you can contact Rosanne Bennett at 484-798-1236 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Please note that I recognize that there are good and bad all over the world and in everything we touch. The photo at the top of this BLOG is of a defrocked Methodist Minister who 'married' a gay couple in a Methodist establishment. He is one of the 'good' ones and there are many, many others. In the entire scheme of life, there is far more 'good' than 'bad'...hopefully, your choices will reflect your values....