By Seth Richardson
The Progressives are in full-tilt panic mode right now, and their propaganda smear machine is overheating and is about to come apart at the seams. The repulsive attacks on Ken Buck over his decision not to prosecute an alleged sexual assault case four years ago prove once again that Progressives, in obedience to Saul Alinsky and Karl Marx, believe that the ends justify the means, and they will consequently stoop to any low, despicable, mendacious, slimy tactics they can think of to malign, libel and slander their political enemies.
One such Progressive, who goes by the pseudonym “Quidproquo” in the Gazette comments section has been parroting the ProgressNow Colorado slanders. The good news is that most other participants are resoundingly rejecting the specious arguments he makes and the propaganda he spews.
However, it’s important for people to understand exactly why the specious accusations that Buck refused to prosecute an “admitted rapist” are utterly false. The fact is that Ken Buck acted in accordance with the finest traditions of prosecutorial ethics in refusing to prosecute a case that was unwinnable.
Quidproquo asked the following somewhat rhetorical question in one of his/her diatribes: “… should the prosecutor decide whether a case is winnable, or should a judge and jury determine guilt or innocence?”
The answer is “both,” and it’s important for honest and upright citizens to understand how the judicial system operates as regards the filing of felony cases by the District Attorney, because this explains why Buck made the correct decision that he made back in 2006.
The canons of professional ethics for DA’s requires them to analyze all felony cases and determine, using their best professional judgment, whether the evidence in hand, if presented to a jury, would produce a reasonable likelihood of conviction.
This is one of several threshold tests of our criminal justice system that reduce the chance of judicial abuse or miscarriage of justice.
The system begins with the police finding probable cause (more likely than not) that the defendant committed the crime. Based upon this first threshold test, the police determine to arrest or not arrest. Their duty is to find (or not find) probable cause, and if they do, to bring the defendant before the bar of justice. Their role ends with the collection and analysis of evidence, which they present to the District Attorney.
The second threshold test is the judgment of the DA, who reviews the evidence collected by the police to determine not just if there is probable cause (more likely than not) to convict, but whether the admissible evidence he has is reasonably likely to lead a jury to conclude that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This is the burden of proof that the DA must overcome at trial, not merely “more likely than not,” and so, as a matter of simple justice, legal ethics, and morality, the DA must believe that the evidence will prove his case, else he must not prosecute.
The purpose of these threshold tests is to make sure that miscarriages of justice do not occur, which includes subjecting persons to criminal trial, which is costly both in money, reputation and stress, based on flimsy evidence that has no chance of convincing a jury of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
That canon of professional ethics protects us all against overzealous prosecutors abusing their authority by subjecting presumptively innocent people to criminal trials without adequate evidence of guilt.
That’s something the Spanish Inquisition used to do, and it’s a good thing that our nation rejects such vigilante tactics.
If the DA finds sufficient admissible evidence, and brings the case, the judge and jury determine whether the evidence actually meets the prosecutorial burden of proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
That is the third check-and-balance of the judicial system that helps to prevent innocent people from being abused by the government.
Quidproquo’s model would subject people to a criminal trial, and all the attendant expenses and stress, based on the unverified say-so of a purported victim who may have (and in this case clearly did have) motive, method and opportunity to engage in vindictive abuse of the judicial system as a scheme of revenge.
Since the defendant must be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and since the purported victim’s own statements provide all manner of reasonable doubt about the veracity and accuracy of her allegations, Buck was compelled by the law, and by professional ethics, to decline prosecution.
Good for him. That’s what I want, expect and indeed demand of a District Attorney, for it is better that ten guilty men go free than that one innocent man be sent to prison.
The victim in this case may indeed be the victim of a heinous sexual assault, and that is unfortunate, but the requirements of fundamental justice dictate that in this country at least, people are presumed to be innocent until their guilt is proven, and for better or worse, the evidence in this case simply could not meet that standard.
My sympathies go out to the victim, but I for one will not convict her alleged attacker without sufficient evidence, nor will I condemn Ken Buck for adhering to the canons of professional ethics in declining to prosecute the case.
As for the Progressives, their tactics are backfiring even now, as is right and proper, and all right thinking and honorable citizens should resoundingly reject such smear campaigns and make their distaste for such tactics manifest at the election by repudiating the Democrat/Progressive agenda and candidates.
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