Attorney General Holder, Paul Minor and the feather in the cap culture of DOJ

I’m not wild about calling Paul a “political prisoner,” but I do think the Government overreached Federal jurisdiction in prosecuting an alleged State crime, and I also think the evidence of a quid pro quo was entirely speculative.

I’m not wild about calling Paul a political prisoner either but before I go further, I need to stop and  welcome Ipse Blogit to SLABBED with a h/t for the link to Elusive Justice Overdue in the Case of Political Prisoner Paul Minor on the Huffington Post.

Those who see Paul Minor as political prisoner – including Brendan DeMelle who wrote for the Huffington Post – are seeing Paul in his “role as the top funder of Democratic candidates in Mississippi”.

Without adding to or taking anything away from that connection, I see Paul as a feather-in-the-cap prisoner — a highly valued prize in cultural environment of a Justice Department with two measures of success: conviction rates and high-profile convictions.

As Jim Brown’s April 16 column explains, those measures reflect a value contrary to a prosecutor’s duty:

As federal appeals courts have said repeatedly: “A prosecutor has a special duty commensurate with a prosecutor’s unique power, to assure that defendants receive fair trials. Prosecutors sometimes forget that the prosecutor’s special duty is not to convict, but to secure justice.”

Asking General Holder to concede the errors in Paul’s case is asking him to pluck feathers without tossing the caps.

DeMelle’s post is below the jump and you don’t have to believe Paul is a political prisoner to question his conviction or see he has been unlawfully confined while his Appeal is pending. Continue reading “Attorney General Holder, Paul Minor and the feather in the cap culture of DOJ”