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Seductive Power of Prosecutorial Discretion

03/21/2012 @ 10:06am

New York prosecutors are relieved.  What to do with Meredith Graves, from Tennessee and Ryan Jerome from Indiana?  The prosecutor offered deals, and Graves and Jerome took them.  No one wants to be a test case; Graves and Jerome will not go to jail; New York City’s governing elites escape further playing the fool—and watching their illegal, oppressive disarmament scheme evaporate in protracted litigation.  I bet the Second Amendment Foundation was salivating over representing these plaintiffs.

I share Graves’ and Jerome’s relief, and I am glad they will not be forced to endure the life-crushing full weight of the system.  However, there are powerful lessons in this for all of us:

1)  Much was made in the news of Graves’ status.  Woman.  Nurse.  Medical student.  No criminal record.  Lawful permit holder back home.  What if you, or I had been on the receiving end of New York City’s black-hearted tyranny?  What do you look like?  A little crusty?  Are you a bit of a smart-ass and just cannot keep it from showing through?  Is your hair long (guys)?  Are you not quite as attractive as Graves, ladies?  Do you have any brush with the criminal judicial system in your background?  Are you black?  Do you sound like a cracker?  No sympathy for southerners there in the Big Apple.

Graves’ arrest and prosecution exploded into a major embarrassment for the city.  They know that.  They got out of this fix, and they had to let Jerome go, too, since the Indiana jeweler’s prosecution tracked through their citizen-grinder concurrently with Graves’.

So, they exercised their prosecutorial discretion with discretion and turned tail.  What about next time?  Who will be next? What if the victim had not been so, so—presentable?  The degree of “mercy” shown should not depend on how educated, clean-cut, pretty, or blissfully ignorant of the law you are.

2)  The city elites remain recalcitrant.  The bitter hatred of red-state America spills out of the pages of the New York Daily News, editorializing for more gun control.

3)  Prosecutors and many law enforcement officers love statutes, ordinances, and “charges” they can stack up.  I understand that; you might not make the real crime stick, but you got him on ____________.  The problem is that you create a massive web of

criminalized behavior that is, otherwise, benign and even desirable, and ordinary citizens get trapped in it.  I am sure the security officer felt obligated to turn Graves in; the police officer called to the scene probably groaned, said “Oh, s&#$!” but thought he might get fired if he did not pass Graves upstairs.  And somebody upstairs has a little too much petty autocrat in the bloodstream.  They made fools of the entire city.  Worse: they tried to wreck two people’s life.

4) Who’s next?  We need freedom restored in this country.  Soon, I travel to NYC.  I will be forcibly (in advance) disarmed by their unconstitutional laws.  I am no threat to them, and have never murdered anyone.  But, they treat me like a criminal; like a serf.

5) The downward cultural spiral frightens us all.  Many—like our New York Daily News editorialist—gladly throw away their liberty in the vain pursuit of safety, warning more freedom-loving Americans (those out-of-towners!): “Not here. Not when New Yorkers surrender their weapons for the good of all or face jail time.”  They forget who they are: free citizens, of a free nation, with liberty burned into their souls by their Creator.

But, if all you think you are is a clump of noisy meat, guided by your (superior) neurons, you scorn the blessings of liberty and justice for all, answering the call to power instead—and you give up your very identity.

Final point: We should not take great consolation in the deal Graves and Jerome got.  NYC’s elites got away with keeping their illegal ordinance on the books.

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  • Garylavigne

    Not the New York Post  it’s the Daily News big difference.

  • MJ Mollenhour

    Thanks, correction made.

    Sent mobile. Please reply to