Updated - "The sentencing reform bill introduced in the Senate on Thursday falls far short of what is needed, but it is a crucial first step on the long path toward unwinding the federal government’s decades-long reliance on prisons as the answer to every ill," notes today's New York Times.
It's not just prison sentences for the guilty, it's the insane police-prosecutor state composed of individuals who have no remorse and blind ambition in arresting, prosecuting and imprisoning innocent Americans.
Every day in Dane County former District Attorney Brian Blanchard (2001-2010) (now a state appellate judge) and former Dane County (Wisconsin) Judge Patrick Fiedler, (now a partner with Hurley, Burish & Stanton, S.C.), draw a level breath one wonders how much the innocent Penny Brummer they convicted weighs on their minds.
Brummer is a lesbian, served in the armed forces, and hence must be guilty of murder. That's the size of their case in 1994. Imbecilic police work, bigotry and careerism.
Can this happen in America? This is America, "a leviathan unmatched in human history," (Loury, Boston Review).
And Blanchard and Fiedler are sleeping fine.
To understand the character of Blanchard and Fiedler, consider this is the same prosecutor-judge combo—so desperate for career advancement—they prosecuted the late, eminent UW-Madison historian Stanley Kutler, (1934-2015). Kutler's charged crime? Yelling at his health insurance company, and opining the bureaucrats' company should be blown up.
This brought a Class B misdemeanor charge filed by Blanchard in 2005, ridiculed across academic circles and among jurists, and ultimately settled with a $149.00 fine.
Fiedler didn't toss the case, Blanchard didn't drop the case.
Blanchard and Fiedler got their headlines.
Kutler emailed and called me a couple of years later after reading some pieces about then U.S. Atty Steven Biskupic's prosecutions of a veteran on a trumped-up "wire fraud" charges, numerous 'voter fraud' charges and the infamous Georgia Thompson prosecution.
Kutler suggested in good humor that Blanchard should consider taking 30 days and reading up on Robert Jackson and his disquisitions on prosecutorial discretion.
The current Dane County District Attorney should do the same, and consider the proposition that apropos to Penny Brummer, and every citizen, the law can afford to be just. And there is no imperative to protect a wrongful prosecution, emphatically when the innocent Ms. Brummer has been sitting in prison for 19 years.
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