The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Whoops. There goes the neighborhood.

Looks like one of the State's attorneys is goin' to the bighouse for dealin' marijuana.

I wonder if he'll see any familiar faces there? This is sort of a complex twist of fate here on the Forum. One of our hosts has a fairly public issue on this, which, for the time being, keeps him from commenting much about these matters. But I bet if he's careful, he can offer Mr. Karn a few pointers on how to cope with what he's about to experience.

What about it Forumpians? Good cop? Bad cop? Dumb lawyer? Is this why they call it "dope?"

Talk ta me.


Wayne Gilbert said...

I wish Mr. Karns the best. He is a good person.

Bob Newland said...

I present the following scenario, just hypothetical, of course. There is no correlation between the following paragraphs and anything in contemporary local news. I swear on my mother's grave. Check it out. This scenario has been repeated in an interesting series of variations about once every two years, more or less, for the last 30 years or so, in the Rapid City Journal.

So there's this guy, representative of a composite character based on any number of folks. Let's call him Justin (for justice, get it?); he's vertically- (or other-) challenged and has felt left out of things. He goes to college and then to law school. The obvious thing for a person like Justin to do -- that is, if he has a law degree and a pulse and not much else -- is to join up with an outfit that puts a representative of the average citizenry in a position of begging Justin for mercy about 20 times a week. He becomes a gel-haired, suspender-wearin' prosecutor.

During his formative years, he's seen lawyers by the handsful doing and dealing drugs. He doesn't really see anything wrong with drugs; hell, he's done 'em regularly, but he sees value in getting paid to put users and sellers in prison.

Now, Justin has a job where he can hang out with cops, too. He takes to the gym, where he becomes pretty sculpted. It's been rumored that steroids and barbells are often found in the same room, but that's only a rumor. It's been rumored that a lot of cops shave their heads, grow a soul patch and lift weights. I do not know, but I do watch the news sometimes. That's where I heard it.

All I'm sayin' is that the illegal substance trade among cops and prosecutors, prison guards, lawyers in general, and everybody else, for that matter, is pretty well documented.

Justin, however, sees that folks of his status skate when exposed. Most of the time. He can't believe he'll fall into the "less of the time" category -- by the luck of bragging to the wrong person, to have had the unfortunate circumstance of having made the acquaintance of someone of the weak-backboned variety who gets popped with some pharms they aren't s'posed to have, or any of a million or so things that can get you popped.

Especially if someone of consequence puts you in his gunsights.

So, a former person of consequence (inasmuch as he had the power of ruining your life on his desk on any given day), who has gone on to other things, serves as a scapegoat for all the similar cases on which people similar to Justin skate. And somebody dropped a dime (okay 50¢, if he could find a payphone) on Justin.

So, Justin does a little time. For an offense for which he sent folks to prison for much longer times. I don't know why, but a vision of a former governor keeps intruding on my creative process. GO AWAY!

Justin will finish his career as a member of a boiler room phone bank for a personal-injury lawyer. They can't take that great law school knowledge from him, even if they do take his license.

Now don't go thinking I think we shouldn't be punishing such behavior. I believe we should vigorously and rigorously enforce every goddam law on the books. Wop bop a doo wop a wop bam boom.

Bill Fleming said...

Great, Bob. Thanks. I figured something keen would roll out of you on that one. It would make an excellent novel. The rise and fall of Justin... and the occasional injustice of blind justice. Good stuff.

Thad Wasson said...

If Mr.Justice had 3 pounds of an illegal substance and someone else had 3 ounces would Mr. Justice have a penalty 16 times harsher?

Food for thought.

Neal said...

It's preposterous to lock anyone up -- lawyers, cops, or anyone else -- for possessing or smoking a plant.

Neal said...

On a somewhat related note, the other day I ran into a guy outside the courthouse collecting signatures to put medical marijuana on the ballot again. He said they were over 20k signatures, which is above the threshold needed to get it on the ballot -- but they were out getting more just to be sure. Looks like we'll get another chance to vote on it again in 2012.