The Rich White Guy Criminal Justice Ploy

After writing about the corruption in the Hamptons for nearly a decade, Freedom of Speech finally has come full circle. It took a decade of writing articles and blogs, numerous discussions and arguments and four years in prison for a simple point of view: that corruption in the Hamptons was both pervasive and endemic and that the former District Attorney was running a criminal enterprise which was supported by all of the money coming in from New Yorkers. 

The December 17th Federal website read:

“Former Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota and Christopher McPartland, the former Chief of Investigations and Chief of the Government Corruption Bureau  of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office (SCDAO), were convicted today by a federal jury in Central Islip, New York, of all four counts of the indictment charging them with conspiracy to tamper with witnesses and obstruct an official proceeding, witness tampering, obstruction of justice…”

Although there has been a delayed sentencing hearing, since all characters are out on bail, regardless of your attitude about whether either of these  individuals will ever set foot in a jail cell, rest assured it may never happen. Criminal Justice in America is not a universal reality.  There is justice for whites, justice for blacks and browns, and justice for money.  Here’s how it works:

If you either have enough cash or your cronies pony-up the money, from either politicians, gangsters, extorted associates, friends you’ve done favors for, unions, the multiple offshore or buried locations with cash that’s been stolen or “liberated” legally or illegally — you can buy the best legal minds in the business.

The first step is waiting until sentencing before requesting continuation of  bail while the appeal is played out. There is always an appeal and the Feds almost always grant this. The State almost never grants remaining out on bail pending appeal. It then takes about 3 years for an appeal to be decided — and convicted individuals are mostly out on bail while this happens. A really good lawyer usually can find an issue worthy of  appeal. Friends in high places, of course, are helpful.

Then comes the second bite of the apple, the second trial. Three or four years after losing the first trial.  Let’s say there are no mistakes and the trial and verdict are the same. And, in this case, from 2016 when the shit hit the fan, it’s already four years, right? So, let’s say there’s an appeal which is granted and a new trial is set. At least a year is needed to prepare. Now, it’s what, five years in?

Of course, even if the second case is lost — by the time we’re at six years, bail must be granted, or, rather, continued. The Feds are always accommodative. Not so, the State. So, it’s much better to be tried and convicted by the Feds in this regard. And, the appeal of the second conviction will take another three years. Now, where are we, at 9 years?

In Shelly Silver’s case, this has happened three times. Although he’s recently been sentenced to 6 ½ years he’s still out on bail and he hasn’t even played the final card yet. Appealing the sentence, his age, illness, dementia…

And, then there’s always some new wrinkle on the Covid-19 defense. You can’t send an old white guy who’s sick to prison with a pandemic going on, can you? Just because we have thousands of guys in their 70’s and 80’s in New York State prison alone, is it fair to jail an old politician? Or, a D.A.?

Wouldn’t it be better to apply this level of special treatment universally rather than send any of these characters to jail? How does society benefit from sending crafty old politicians to jail? Let them use their intelligence and connections to make the criminal justice system better — more fair — more equal.

Even if you’ve been damaged by their actions, as I have, sending them to jail won’t correct that. Make them work to change the system for all of us.

— D. Clark MacPherson

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