Tuesday, January 17, 2023

An Argument for Arresting White-Collar Criminals Like Common Thieves

If someone commits a simple physical crime, a murder, say, or a mugging, the police apprehend them as soon as possible, and holds them while the prosecutor decides what charges to bring. But in white collar crime, there’s an investigation, the appropriate prosecutor decides what charges to bring, goes to a grand jury, gets an indictment and, finally, the suspect is brought in, perhaps even politely asked to come in.

Bringing criminal charges in a major case can easily take years. While this process is taking place, the suspects continue committing crimes. In extreme instances, they politick to get themselves off. Thus, few of the bankers who brought about the crash of 2008 and cost so many people their homes and life savings were ever charged. While the Department of Justice decided whether or not to charge them, remained free and continued to foreclose on homeowners. Ultimately, public outrage blew over, and few were charged. Similarly, so far, none of the leaders of the January 6th insurrection have been charged, though Attorney General Merrick Garland continues to do the slow careful work of assembling an airtight case. And, indeed, politics has caught up with the stolen documents case against Donald Trump and the press has found an excuse to claim that President Biden is equally at fault. Donald Trump continues leading his gang in its attempt to take over the US federal government. Trump’s faction now controls the House Republican majority, and is planning to harass the people investigating Trump and themselves, continue to expose the United States to its enemies, and hold the credibility of the dollar and the global economy hostage.

As a liberal, it is strange for me to advocate more policing, but it seems to me that in such cases, it is important to arrest suspects early, so as to stop the commission of further crimes, and make it clear that justice is in process – to spike the political subversion of the judicial process. We need a legal process for this: perhaps something where prosecutors go before a judge with evidence, and argue that suspects should be taken into custody. Such a process undoubtedly will be subject to abuse, and so would have to be guided by clear rules – probably, at least, there has to be clear evidence: unjust foreclosures, an actual insurrection, or what-have-you. Ideally, this would be worked out by careful, honest legislators and jurists. In reality, it is not going to be so clean. But we need something, we need to get started.


yellowdoggranny said...

I just don't know why any and all of them fuckers aren't behind bars...grrrr..

MD said...

Can't argue with that.