LESSONS FROM LAW SCHOOL
A GOOD BRIBE
HOW WE LOST CONTROL OF OUR GOVERNMENT
Dennis L. Blewitt
I attended law school in Chicago, an immigrant from rural Colorado to the big city. At first, I was overwhelmed, then I adapted. As a social scientist, I observed and took note of what was occurring around me. I was amazed by what was accepted by my classmates as common knowledge and the amount of cynicism they exuded, particularly when it came to government.
They were exiting and interesting times. There was a war, a free speech movement, drugs, sex, and rock and roll. Chicago had its 100th gangland slaying and police corruption was rampant. O. W. Wilson, a criminologist from Berkeley was brought in to re-image the Dailey administration and its police.
So, I guess I was less than shocked when my criminal law instructor one day lectured us on the practicalities of a criminal practice there. The husband of one of my classmates was made famous for his handling of the Escobido case, there was unrest in the South with the disappearance of civil rights workers, and fear in the North of blacks and other poor people. In a lecture on practicalities, not theory, he told us how to survive the snake pit of Cook County criminal practice.
He advised us that “You can know all the criminal law in the world, but never underestimate the power of a good bribe.” He then went on to explain his comment using a form of exchange theory. His believe was that the whole world worked on exchange, whether it was money, favors, commodities, sex, or favor. We had to understand this in order to adequately represent our clients. Getting bribes was a perquisite of power. Unless one had a position and something of value, he would not be bribed. Therefore, if you wanted a file from the clerk, you showed your appreciation by leaving some dollars under your briefcase when the request was made.
But this was the simple way. Life in the Courts was much more complex than that. Money wasn’t the only medium of exchange. There were an unlimited variety of currency. Our job was to find one that worked, or to sabotage the bribery of the opposition. For instance, State’s Attorneys could bribe a judge in several ways. He could co-operate in docket control so that the judge could play golf in the afternoon, or fill his day with trivia. The judge could help out a young deputy by praising performance in the right places. But, the real challenge is to find a way as a defense attorney to derail the perceived inevitable. That could be done through a clerk, a prosecutor or a judge. One of the best ways is praise or kissing ass. Prosecutors are generally egotistical enough to believe that flattery is sincere and the currency is relatively cheap. But, we have to learn that the currency should not be wasted. If nothing is gained from the client, then don’t waste the social capital. Of course, because the subject is taboo, it isn’t discussed. Hence, no one can understand the lack of respect for the public defender. Social capital is expended without the expectation of being repaid by the client and power is referent, or equal to that of the client.
Applying these lessons and observations, it becomes apparent what is happening today. The people have no social capital with which to purchase justice, fairness, or integrity. The people can’t keep politicians in office, they can just withhold support. But that is not even a contest when it comes to the Government. We elect our officials, but they don’t work on our behalf. They can’t afford to have beliefs or integrity and still hold their jobs. For instance, we elect a legislature. We expect them to look out for us and represent our views. Beliefs, and desires. We expect integrity and to look out for our best interest.
But look what happens. Someone in a massive Bureaucracy decides that speed limits should be cut. Most people on the East coast have no idea of the vast expanses of the West and Texas. So they dictate to the people that the speed limit shall be 55 miles per hour. A revolt started in the West and with the truckers. Some states, like Wyoming and Montana declined to pass such laws. Consequently, they had Federal highway funding cut. The rest of the states were successfully bribed. The citizenry was told that we didn’t want to miss out on Federal money without questioning the ethics of using our own money to circumvent the democratic process. Other examples exist. Policy is dictated by faceless drones dreaming up schemes that will benefit their narrow bailiwick, but not the people as a whole.
Now they rulers have taken things a step further. They cook the books. They manufacture data to support positions or use semantics to avoid the truth. For instance, we were told that privatization of government functions is good. It saves the people money and it is efficient. However, look at the facts. Prisons are being built by private companies who are awarded contracts guaranteeing that they will be kept full, no matter what the crime rate is. So, there is an incentive for keeping things criminalized even though the public doesn’t want it. The Department of Transportation is granting a contract to sell a freeway to a private company with a guarantee of income, without the profit to the investment bank disclosed.
It seems to me that any politician with the IQ of a Chimpanzee can obtain data from State employees to see that crime rates vary with age of population. As population ages, crime rates decline. When that happens, prison demand declines. Yet, legislators continued to authorize private prisons, when they should have known they might be un-needed. The private prisons could forecast, hence the demand for guarantees. Since I can’t believe anyone who can run a campaign for public office can be that stupid, I assume that money or favors had to have been exchanged.
The state has gone a step further in its deceptive practices. The legislature authorized privatized treatment programs for drug and alcohol offenses. The numbers had to be kept up to keep clinics and programs from bankruptcy. The “customer” pool had to keep increasing. Hence, the level of detectible substances in the body kept declining as problem drivers disappeared. Behavioral evidence used to be needed to convict. Officers video recorded suspects while taking tests and being questioned. However, when these were shown to juries, acquittals occurred, wrecking the profits of the private treatment programs. Fluid samples were required to be preserved for retesting. Because of alleged certification, that was abolished. Tests were used that could not be duplicated. Nor were they recorded. Samples were not required to be verified. “Experts” were created in the police force to testify at trials where there was no way to refute or even question evidence.
Courts allowed this to occur because it encouraged convictions or guilty pleas and moved cases through the system into the profitable programs in an efficient manner. A well-greased machine was created to screw the driving public. So, people had to plead guilty to something even if that weren’t so because it was virtually impossible to challenge.
The “recognition experts” attended classes taught by non-credentialed teachers, based upon little science and anecdotal beliefs. In Colorado, the State’s forensic chemist was shown to be a perjurer and fraud. The lab was placed in question. The officials hid this from the people as long as they could and the situation existed for years. The chemist bragged to co-workers about how she “got that scumbag defendant” and taught the dumbass defense attorney a lesson. Although it should have been obvious, no deputy district attorney challenged the situation, many delighted in obtaining easy convictions in marginal cases.
The reason that fluid or breath samples were no longer preserved is because the instruments measuring the fluids were certified. Now we find out that the certification is flawed and signed of as a matter of course rather than actually complying with testing. Additionally, it was found that the course to train police “drug recognition experts” was based upon non-scientific methodology, anecdotes, and being taught by frauds and un-credentialed instructors. When this was pointed out to the Federal Department of Transportation official, he stated he would correct the manuals. He did not and people are still being imprisoned by bull-shit testimony and evidence. All to keep private monopolist criminal justice enterprises profitable. The most unconscionable thing is this is perpetrated upon the poor. The government has become predatory. The faceless bureaucrats in the Federal Government set policy and enforce it by bribing or withholding funds from state legislatures.
Our highways are sold to private foreign entities with income guarantees. Prisons are being built with income guarantees, while workers’ wages and pensions diminish in buying power or disappear. Now a new crime of driving under the influence of marijuana has been invented by the Government which the states have to enact and enforce in order for the state Constitutional amendments not be challenged by a Federal agency. State judges, rather than telling Feds to use their own Courts are using the Supremacy Clause of the Constitutional to ignore state Constitutional amendments. All to grease the wheels of corruption. It is time we put a stop to this.
- Posted in: 2d Amendment