As a judge I have had many opportunities to talk with individual prosecutors and investigators as well as several opportunities to address groups of them. And each time I tried to remind them that they have a sacred trust, which is “to do the right thing for the right reason – every time!” I was a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles from the mid to the late 1970s and, I am proud to say, not once was I ever asked what political party I supported or anything else about my political beliefs. And not once was I pressured either to prosecute or not to prosecute a case for non-criminal justice reasons! The focus was always upon doing the right thing for the right reason. This also means that, if the system is working, a prosecutor can do much more for a defendant that a criminal defense attorney can. Why is that? Because if someone really should not be prosecuted, only a prosecutor can make that decision. Same situation if the more appropriate offense is a misdemeanor instead of a felony, or if the defendant should be arrested pre-trial or simply but formally notified to appear in court on a particular date. But, of course, if someone deserves to be prosecuted, that was where I wanted to be. As such, I ended my career as an Assistant U.S. Attorney heading a unit that prosecuted frauds against the VA and FHA. These were seldom “crimes of the moment,” but were almost always carefully thought and carried out by people who knew better, and they deserved their fate.

So why bring up these issues now? Because as we head into the New Year many people, and for some reasonable causes, believe that our Criminal Justice System is not serving us all equally, or that some officials are even taking sides politically! And that can be cancerous to a society. Furthermore, and as I have said often in these messages, if our government is not working, we have no one to blame but ourselves – because it is our government and, hence, our responsibility! So we should take notice of what is being done in the name of “We the People.” And we must not be silent if we believe it is not a system of “Equal Justice for All!”

Strange Tidbit for the Week: If you write the word “swims” upside down, it is still “swims”.

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

As stated above, feel free to listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely issues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand by going to https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com. Please read and discuss it with your friends, and send in a review.