I’ve always had great respect for our legal system. It’s as good as any of which I’m aware. No, I’m not naive. I’m fully aware that every institution depends on the competence and integrity of those involved and that means sometimes decisions are rendered that are wrong — muddy thinking and sometimes corrupt judges; self-seeking prosecutors; incompetent counsel; bad and poorly written laws; false testimony by liars — all contribute now and then to unjust resolutions. But in recent years, my faith has been even more badly shaken by continued and obvious corruption all the way down the line.
This week there are three instances that confirm my belief that something is seriously amiss in our justice system:
- The FBI’s hidden and far-too-tardy acknowledgment that the Bernie Sanders supporter who tried to murder the Republican House leadership in 2017 was a domestic terrorist.
- The continued mistreatment (overcharging and continued solitary confinement) of several of the January 6 Capitol demonstrators compounded by the officials’ lies about it and the Department of Justice’s refusal to make available to the public the videos of that event.
- And a claim by one of the three defendants in the George Floyd case that a key witness in the Chauvin trial had been improperly coerced to change his testimony and the prosecution (the Minnesota attorney general’s office) did nothing to inform the defense of the interactions the defendant asserts were coercive.
Since the press has quickly smothered this story, let me remind you. In June 2017 Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter who had posted on Facebook that “Trump is a Traitor. Trump has Destroyed our democracy. It’s Time to destroy Trump & Co,” and had otherwise demonstrated his extreme hostility to Republicans, traveled to Virginia from his home in Illinois, and after learning that the men playing ball there were Republican congressmen, opened fired on them, wounding five people including Congressman Steve Scalise, who nearly bled to death and required multiple surgeries before he could return to Congress.