Congress and Obama: We Need More Innocent People in Prison by William L. Anderson
This past year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down much of the “Honest Services Fraud” law that federal prosecutors were using as the catch-all for targeting whomever they wanted to have thrown into prison. As I wrote two years ago, this law was the ultimate prosecutorial weapon for people who already have an arsenal of injustice.
We Need More Innocent People in Government Cages
According to Obama and Congress. Article by Bill Anderson.
Well, just when you thought it was safe to go back into the courtroom, the Obama administration and the U.S. Senate want to tag team in order to give federal prosecutors the power to send anyone they choose to prison, no matter if the accused has committed a crime or not. For readers who think I am exaggerating, think again. As I wrote in 2009:
You might not have robbed a bank or stolen anything, or engaged in any of the 10,000 “crimes” that federal prosecutors have in their buffet line, but I can guarantee that you are “guilty” of “honest services fraud.” Have you ever taken a longer lunch break than what you are supposed to do? Have you ever made a personal phone call at work or done personal business on your employer’s computer? Have you ever had a contract dispute with an employer or a client? All of those things can be criminalized by an enterprising federal prosecutor.
If you are an attorney and have signed forms even though you have not read every word in them (for example, the standard closing documents for real estate), then you have committed “honest services fraud.” The list goes on and on, but most likely by now you have the picture: you are guilty even if you never are placed in the dock in federal criminal court.
One would think that with the USA housing a fourth of the world’s prisoners and the building of prisons being a boom industry, that someone in Washington might be ashamed of this state of affairs. But, as the Wall Street Journal has noted, Obama and members of Congress apparently believe that the prison jobs/slavery process must go on:
Since the Supreme Court limited the definition of “honest services” fraud in last year’s landmark Skilling v. U.S., the Obama Administration has been looking for a way to restore essentially unlimited prosecutorial discretion to bring white-collar cases. Last fall Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer told a Senate committee that Congress should act to “remedy” the Court’s decision. Three bills moving through the House and Senate would try to do so, expanding the reach of prosecutors to go after unpopular politicians or businesses whom they can’t pin with a real crime……………………….