In a stunning display of supreme ignorance, sheer cowardice or both, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has called for the “vigorous prosecution” of police officer Darren Wilson. This, even before the Grand Jury has convened. Watch the governor’s comments and the ensuing discussion from the Tuesday edition of The Kelly File here (governor’s remarks begin at about 1:15):
Says Nixon, “We have a responsibility to come together and do everything we can to achieve justice for this family … a vigorous prosecution must now be pursued.”
“Vigorous prosecution”? Based on what? The evidence hasn’t even been fully processed. The investigation is still underway. How ’bout you let the facts come in before you jump the gun and start talking “prosecution”?
Nixon also said that the Prosecutor and Attorney General of the United States “Each have a job to do. Their obligation to achieve justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly, and correctly…”
Fine. But note that the governor mentions “justice” for the Brown family several times. Conspicuous by its absence is any mention of same for Officer Wilson. As a former Attorney General of the State of Missouri, Governor Nixon should know better. Pandering to an angry mob isn’t “justice.” It’s epic cowardice.
Commenting on the governor’s remarks, ‘Community Activist’ Joe Hicks says:
“What he’s (the governor) basically saying is that Eric Holder and he have a job to do… which is prosecute this guy (Wilson) and put him into prison on a political prosecution no matter what the facts show. This is outrageous.”
And oh yeah: What happens if the facts show that it was a righteous shoot?
Yo, Guv: This is America. You want that kind of knee-jerk, trial-by-lynch-mob thing, move a few hundred miles south. Like Cuba. While you’re at it, check your calendar. This is America 2014, not Russia 1917. Lose the Lenin mentality.
Yo, Guv Again: We have this quaint little notion here called “Justice for all.” That includes Officer Wilson. We also have these quaint little notions called presumption of innocence and due process. Both are enshrined in the United States Constitution. You may want to check it out. If you need some help, see the Fifth Amendment. It goes like this:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
While you’re at it, guv, see the Sixth Amendment and the part about the right to a speedy and public trial by an “impartial jury.” Yeah, that’s in there, too. And thanks, guv, for poisoning the jury pool and impairing the process with your irresponsible and asinine comments.
Hate to break it to you, guv, but “Justice for all” includes Officer Wilson. Now would be a good time to man up with an apology and walk it back – if it’s not too late.
Yo, Ferguson: Chill out. Due process is at the very core of “Justice.” Sometimes the process takes more than a nano-second. Meanwhile, rioting, looting, threats and violence aren’t “justice.” They’re revenge. There’s a difference. If you need help figuring that out, read the Constitution of the United States.
Because here’s the deal: If Officer Wilson’s constitutional rights to due process under the law can be set aside or ignored due to public pressure and intimidation, who’s next? If Officer Wilson’s right to presumptive innocence can be tossed out the window because a bunch of hotheads are holding the town hostage and threatening continued violence if they don’t get their way, where does it end?
“Justice” becomes as scarce as a slim sow when ripped from its constitutional moorings and the rule of law. And if Officer Wilson’s rights can be trampled and tossed due to public pressure and irresponsible gubernatorial comments, what makes you think the same can’t happen to your rights?
This post first appeared at BuzzPo.
Photo credit: Jay Nixon, Wikimedia Commons.