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A few days ago Arthur Herman asked where’s the GOP’s law & order candidate? It’s a good question, worthy of an answer. However, I think a better question is this: how do we restore law & order to the process of law? For liberty to thrive, there must be order and crime must be punished. But the way we go about it says as much about our respect for liberty as does the crime rate.
National respect for those who enforce our laws is waning. From coast to coast we’re in a crisis. As Arthur noted, crime rates are rising after a long period of decline. Yes, we have Democrat governance to thank for the crime as well as the cultural decline which encourages such lawlessness. Cities like Baltimore, Chicago, and Detroit reap what they have sown. Elections have consequences indeed. On the right, we advocate for more Republicans to be elected to combat these problems. We trot out Giuliani and the story of New York as our text book example of how Republicans can restore order from lawless chaos. But when the law itself turns lawless, the problems only get worse. I submit that the problem we face now is not just lawlessness from criminals, but lawlessness from law enforcement. To restore an ordered liberty and respect for the police power we must rein in those who have corrupted just ends with illiberal means.
Orange County California should be an example of good governance, but is not. A zeal for successful prosecution has eclipsed any love for liberty and cast a pall over justice there. R. Scott Moxley detailed in a piece for the OC Weekly how “Recent Proof of Prosecutorial Misconduct Mirrors OCDA’s Bad Old Days.” The short version is that prosecutors used:
jailhouse informants to violate constitutional protections for in-custody defendants, hid exculpatory evidence and committ[ed] perjury to cover up the tactics.
The abuse became so egregious that the judge removed the entire Orange County prosecutor’s office from a very high profile capital murder, in a case where the accused pled guilty to first degree murder charges. The shenanigans that came to light were in the penalty phase of the case. Cheating to win is not justice. It is lawlessness that stains our nation and degrades our liberty.
We need — as Arthur points out — a candidate to stand for law and order. This candidate must be as serious about restoring these ideals to our justice system as he is about enforcing criminal law.