Comments: Quote of the Day

Comey tried to make the case today that the Federal statute lacks a mens rea standard, and is therefore invalid, in his opinion. I must have missed the part after that where he said that he'd immediately be filing papers to undo the prosecution of the Kristian Saucier.

What he did - or attempted to do - is prosecutorial nullification. He disagreed with the standard of the black letter of the law, so he chose to substitute his own sensibilities in its place. If that were his consistent practice in cases that didn't involve a defendant named Clinton, it would be believable. Pathetic, but believable.

I'm guessing that his real motivation was to not commit suicide or have some amazing tragedy not befall him or his loved ones before the end of the week.

Posted by Keith Arnold at July 7, 2016 2:08 PM

Uh huh. Vince Foster could not be reached for comment.

Posted by jk at July 7, 2016 4:50 PM

ignorantia legis neminem excusat

The rationale of the doctrine is that if ignorance were an excuse, a person charged with criminal offenses or a subject of a civil lawsuit would merely claim that he or she is unaware of the law in question to avoid liability, even if that person really does know what the law in question is.

Or, compel some third party to so claim on her behalf.

It does seem that, like her husband, Hillary should have been tried and found guilty and then, perhaps, only been nominally sentenced:

In the criminal law, although ignorance may not clear a defendant of guilt, it can be a consideration in sentencing, particularly where the law is unclear or the defendant sought advice from law enforcement or regulatory officials.

And of more general philosophical interest, to me at least:

"There is a true law, right reason, agreeable to nature, known to all men, constant and eternal, which calls to duty by its precepts, deters from evil by its prohibition. This law cannot be departed from without guilt. Nor is there one law at Rome and another at Athens, one thing now and another afterward; but the same law, unchanging and eternal, binds all races of man and all times."

-Cicero, 'De republica'

But nobody studies or reads the classics any more. How many millenials do you suppose have even heard the name "Cicero?"

Posted by johngalt at July 9, 2016 10:47 AM
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