On Freedom And Crooks

Free societies stay that way because their peoples and institutions assume people given power will abuse it. The Wall Street Journal has forgotten this rule.

It is tempting to argue that Mr. Spitzer deserves the Spitzer treatment more than many of those he made targets while a prosecutor. That may well be true in the sense that many of his victims were innocent.

But the proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion dictates that the power of the state not be wielded merely to settle a grudge. Mr. Spitzer never learned that while in office, but playing by his unrestrained rules is not the same as seeing justice done.

Of course future Attorney Generals can’t be made to understand that ” the power of the state not be wielded merely to settle a grudge” – “unconstrained rules” will always attract predators like Spitzer.

One answer is to add constraints in the form of judicial oversight. It’s the absence of that in the US legal system that allows infestation by crooks.

Another would be to enable victims of legal malpractice by state agents to get restitution.

These measures would restore NYC’s reputation as a financial center.

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