Who knew Judge Pryor, if not always right (I sometimes disagree with
his opinions - therefore, he is sometimes wrong) but certainly not
lacking gravitas, could be the subject of a joke? This was intended to be serious, which makes it that much funnier:
In the course of his prepared remarks, [then-Attorney]General Pryor differentiated between judges and prosecutors on the one hand, and criminal defense attorneys on the other, in the following terms: "Judges are independent. For that matter, so are prosecutors whose ethical duty, in contrast with defense attorneys, is to pursue truth and justice."
As a former prosecutor, I recall being taught by my then-boss Janet Reno (at the time, state attorney for Miami-Dade County) that it was a prosecutor's duty to prefer justice to conviction, but a defense attorney's duty to prefer acquittal to justice. It seems to me, however, that Ms. Reno's lesson was offered in a very different spirit than Pryor's testimony.
Hah, indeed! Show me one person Judge Pryor had wrongfully convicted. Just one, and I'll print this post and eat it. Janet Reno, on the other hand, has left such a long trail of victims behind her that I hardly know where to begin. We could start with the men and women she had wrongfully convicted while in Miami; detour with her cronies that she never prosecuted (she let off the murderers from Ruby Ridge); and end with the negligently killed in Waco, TX. That's hardly comprehensive, but it is a good start.
You might be wondering why I'm blogging this, as Pryor's nomination has come and gone. The problem is that partisan hackery will remain. Reno, if not deliberately then at least recklessly, had numerous innocent people sent to prison. But her "spirit" is somehow superior to someone whose only albatross (in my embarrassingly-biased opinion) was defending prison guards (as was his duty) in Hope v. Pelzer.
So why is Reno a great spirit? The only explanation is that she's a Democrat. Such partisan hackery, no matter how "outdated," angers me anew, and thus is always a timely target.