December 23rd, 2011
I understand the need for law and order in a civilized society. Law-breakers must be punished and repay their debts for their infractions against neighbors. Certainly a just punishment and arguably a deterrent to crime.
As a convicted burglar going 11 1/4 years in prison, I am well aware of my mistakes, the price and costs of my law breaking and the affect my actions had on others. Family, friends, victims, taxpayers, etc.
For many years now, I've witnessed a double standard in law-breaking in Arizona. A standard of the general public violators and those entrusted to positions of power by sworn oaths. County Attorney and Sheriff, their deputies and even legislators have all had their fair share of legally questionable conduct repeatedly brought to light. Sadly, despite irrefutable law breaking (violations of constitutionally protected rights of inmates, Latinos and criminal defendants is breaking the law), as well as abuses of the powers of their offices, these individuals and their supporters force their double standards onto the rest of us under the guise of opposing politics.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his former top deputies, MCSO's deputies & detention officers, former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and some of his deputies, and even certain former and current state legislators have broken laws or at least acted unethically and contrary to professional norms, i.e. outside their scope of duties. For years, it was only unsubstantiated accusations. Easily dismissed as the oppositions' smear campaign. However, it's not longer a case of unsubstantiated accusations by their opposition. There's been careful, lengthy investigations. Tons of documents reviewed. Scores of witnesses & victims interviewed. Lots of tax-dollars spent. America's Toughest Sheriff & his deputized followers, past & present, have to answer for their actions to the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights division. Just like Mr Thomas is answering to his profession's governing board. I suspect federal criminal indictments will be forthcoming too. Political supporters and allies have already claimed partisan politics and witch hunts. That's expected. Only facts will prevail in court, where LAW rules, NOT politics.
What message does it send to imprisoned lawbreakers, as well as impressionable children, when law-makers & enforcers are applauded for breaking state & federal laws against certain people, while prosecuting & punishing societies general public who break the law?
9 hours ago