Upon learning of FBI Director James Comey's findings and recommendations not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton, the cyber-world went a tither. Clinton supporters just shook their collective heads and let out a sigh of relief while GOP opponents demanded time to grill Comey - as he must be a "sell-out" and allowed her to walk because of some sort of "political expediency" (as Charles Krauthammer speculates). In an effort to explain that criminal charges generally require some form of criminal intent, I was repeatedly lambasted on social media. When I could show the actual difference in standards between civil and criminal liability, I was hit with a volley of hateful replies ranging from "being a hack" to being a "scummy criminal lawyer." Seems lay people absolutely know about the law - perhaps they stayed a few nights at Holiday Inn Express? Granted, I am no criminal lawyer, but I do know the standard in America is that Justice is blind and we cannot allow folks to be "prejudged." To do so would be to rig the system! We are all afforded the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty - except for some it seems when your last name is "Clinton."
The Framers were so concerned with prosecutorial abuse and mob rule, that they added the 6th Amendment to our Bill of Rights (something conveniently forgotten when politics is interjected into the discussion).
"The Sixth Amendment guarantees the rights of criminal defendants, including the right to
a public trial without unnecessary delay, the right to a lawyer, the right to an impartial jury,
and the right to know who your accusers are and the nature of the charges and evidence
against you. (see; www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/sixth_amendment).
Notice the RIGHT to an impartial jury? Can anyone actually believe the GOP Investigative Committees have acted solely with impartiality? How impartial does it appear when members of those committees and the media promote speculation as facts when they actually know it to be mere rhetoric? "We know she is guilty!" But how do you know? "Because we know!"
Which gets me to my point. I am not a Clinton supporter, yet I am a supporter of the law. I get quite rankled when folks are misled by politicians into believing the law applies to some differently than to others when they do not get the result they demand. I get concerned when the media repeats calculated and cleverly designed rhetoric solely to manipulate. Despite many public pronouncements of guilt by Americans on Facebook, Twitter and partisan Blogs, how many of these folks opining and posting actually participated in the FBI investigation? You would think based upon the certainty of their social media posts, James Comey and his FBI investigation team included millions of Americans as they all seem to claim some personal knowledge that facts exist to establish clear criminal wrongdoing. Even a technical mistake is enough for some to jump to "Hillary for Prison, 2016!" Do I have access to all of the evidence obtained by Comey and his team? Of course not, but I am willing to rely upon his expert opinion based upon actual facts and upon what politicians and their supporting media spew for public consumption. One has to hand it to the Republicans on this - they sure executed their strategy to distract and attack Clinton's public standing to perfection. If only Trump wasn't their presumptive nominee...
As President John Adams once wrote; "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." I just wish Americans would rely on actual facts rather than mere partisan opinion (which includes that coming from both the Democrats and Republicans).
Although there is a lot also going on with gun violence in America, my position is clear. All lives matter - no matter the color of your skin or the religion you adhere to. Have a great week!