In the world of American Justice, a crime has certain characteristics, requires certain standards to be met and criminal charges to be brought. There are definitions of grand larceny, tax evasion, robbery, money laundering and other crimes. Unfortunately in America, decisions to prosecute are not only based on crimes, they are based on "defendants". Prosecutors look for and determine defendants. It is the determining of "defendants" causing there to be TWO AMERICAS; defendants who get criminally charged and defendants who don't get charged.
I was convicted of tax evasion and went to trial because the government believed I was concealing assets. I repeatedly showed 5 separate prosecutors no taxes were owed and none concealed. A forensic accountant provided prosecutors with a complete review of my assets; the government saw and knew the evidence, chose to ignore it and proceeded to trial.
Charles Rangel, a prominent U.S Congressman conceals his assets, was sanctioned by Congress for tax evasion and was never charged with a crime. What is the difference between Charles Rangel and me? What privilege does he have excusing him from being charged with a crime? Is there different justice for Congressman Rangel and me?
Are there TWO AMERICAS when it comes to justice? If yes, then we either charge people who fit the criminal standard, or we opt for different solutions . What we can't continue to do is charge some defendants while not charging others.
CONSPIRACY or BEING ASSOCIATED WITH CRIMINAL(S)
A common charge used to make defendants out of innocent people is the charge of conspiracy or simply being associated with a person who committed a crime. Conspiracy and/ or Association do not require the prosecutor show the defendant participated in the actual crime. This charge is based on eye witness testimony the individual was involved.
There are significant numbers of people in prison today because they were "associated" with someone who committed a crime. In fact, sentencing minutes show Judge telling innocent victims of the system, you should have known your boyfriend was a drug dealer". The charge used is called CONSPIRACY and it is used regularly by prosecutors.
The mere "association" with a criminal has sent plenty of people to jail for 5, 10 and 20 years. Prosecutors scare people into taking a plea for fear a trial would produce a more severe sentence.
Kevin Davis worked for MF Global, a firm whose recent co-mingling of 1.2 billion of client assets, is causing a criminal investigation of the firm. Kevin Davis is not presently working at MF Global but managed funds for over a decade which lost 89% of their value ( Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2011 by Michael Howard Saul).
Kevin Davis does not have a stellar history as an investment advisor and was in a position of authority at MF Global. His "association" with MF Global is not causing him to be investigated. In fact, he is being rewarded for his DISMALL performance by being given a job helping to run the New York City pension plan.
In August 2009, a mother of two, Chrystal Ceja, 23 was the live in girl friend of a man who committed murder and robbery. Prosecutor Andrea Tischler wanted to impose the harshest penalty for Ceja's role in this robbery and murder. According to prosecutor Tischler, Ceja used $100 bills from the robbery to purchase a car and clothes from the stolen money.
Ceja's attorney argued Ceja had no idea her boyfriend was going to kill or rob. She had no criminal record and she was being punished and sent to prison because she is accused of knowing him.
Ceja is in prison for "knowing" a murderer and Kevin Davis, who lost 89% of the assets of a Hedge Fund and was associated with MF Global is given a high level job managing a New York City pension.
Chrystal Ceja does not deserve a 3 year jail sentence because her boyfriend murdered and robbed someone. Why was Chrystal Ceja charged at all? And if Chrystal Ceja was charged, why isn't Kevin Davis facing an investigation of his association with MF Global?
If we use prosecutor Andrea Tischler's standards, the $100 dollar bills alone made it clear Chrystal Ceja was a criminal. Using those same standards, Kevin Davis should be investigated. It is only the Chrystal Cejas' who are prosecuted because we live in a country where there are two standards of justice and justice reflecting TWO AMERICAS.
The crime of CONSPIRACY and/or ASSOCIATION WITH A CRIMINAL should be reconsidered. Knowing someone does not make someone a criminal. If the criminal state of conspiracy was changed, hundreds of thousands of people would be released from prison.
If TAXES are to remain a criminal charge, then anyone not paying taxes must face criminal charges. People doing the same thing cannot get two different treatments. Either we are all criminals or none of us are.
Congress must consider must reconsider what is a crime. The 4500 laws on the books are vague and lend themselves to too much liberty for prosecutors. Taking the vagueness out of the laws and re-evaluating what should be called a "crime" is one step in the right direction. We are one America, but our justice system behaves like TWO AMERICAS.
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