The Largely Defunct Bill of Rights

The Founding Fathers created a Bill of Rights to ensure that Americans would never have to fear government prosecutors the way people in the Old World did.

Unfortunately, the Bill of Rights is a dead letter in too many ways in America. It has now become possible for prosecutors to get a conviction in virtually every case where they choose to indict – whether or not the defendant is guilty.

Fortunately, however, a number of prominent writers are alarmed about the problem – including some people you might expect to be law-and-order conservatives.

Here are some articles that explain aspects of this prosecution crisis – a crisis that, to the best of my knowledge, no Republican or Democratic candidate raised in the last election.

"How Government Breaks the Law" by Andrew P. Napolitano A new public hero emerges to call attention to the way that government – at all levels – has discarded the Bill of Rights.

"The Defense Rests – Permanently" by Craig Horowitz Prosecutors have so much power that defense attorneys are now concerned only with negotiating plea bargains, rather than arguing cases in court. Mandatory-minimum-sentence laws have taken the power of sentencing away from judges and given it to prosecutors – thus allowing the prosecutors to force plea bargains on guilty and innocent defendants alike.

"A System Bereft of Justice" by Paul Craig Roberts An excellent overview of the problem by one of America’s premier investigative journalists.

"Turning Lawyers into Government Spies" by Paul Craig Roberts How the government is prosecuting attorneys and trying to destroy attorney-client privacy.

"Federal Mandatory Sentences Are Unconstitutional" by William L. Anderson and Karen S. Bond A rebuttal to those who argue that the suffering of people hurt in violent crimes justifies long sentences imposed on people who have never engaged in violence.

"All about Lying" by William L. Anderson Government agents are allowed to engage in the very misdeeds, such as lying, for which civilians are prosecuted.

"The Death of Due Process" by Peter Brimelow How prosecutors can intimidate defendants into pleading guilty.

"Judge Rejects Sell’s Request for Trial" by Carolyn Tuft A doctor is considered delusional for saying he’s being persecuted by being incarcerated for eight years without benefit of a trial.

December 25, 2004