Monday, August 4, 2008
Paul Minor's request to be released pending appeal is responded to by the government by cold language and language that perhaps warrants careful scrutiny (for background on this case see here). Here are two points that are particularly bothersome:
1. The government's brief (see below) with respect to the medical condition of Minor's wife displays a sad state for our legal system. The brief, in speaking to whether the court should consider releasing Paul Minor to care for his wife, states that this "certainly evokes sympathy, it is not a legal basis for his release from prison." Basically, the government is saying that compassion does not play any role in how we adjudicate matters. To have third parties bear the consequences and be punished for the actions is harsh punishment for individuals who committed no crime. To say that the government does not have discretion to insert compassion into the process is also bothersome. It wasn't in the law to work the sentences for the Fastow's to account for the care-taking of their children. (see here) Is there a different standard used for compassion when it comes to those who cooperate with the government and those who proceed to trial?
2. The government's response includes statements that this case was not a political prosecution ("nothing more than wild speculation and innuendo unsupported by the evidence"). Attorney Abbe David Lowell, in footnote 4 (how appropriate for it to be this number), says it all when he points out that the government seems to be pre-judging a matter that is under investigation. This is a clear indication that an independent investigation of this matter is warranted. (see here)
Government's Opposition to the Motion of Defendant-Appellant Paul S. Minor for Release pending Appeal -
Defendant-Appellant Paul S. Minor's Reply Brief in Support of Motion for Release Pending Appeal -