We have withdrawn our previous post on this subject and herewith substitute the following:
A man' s life was at stake. He was prosecuted for a crime that carried a 25 year mandatory prison sentence if convicted.
The SAO's response to this case is that since the legislature wrote a law that can be applied to this factual scenario, that's good enough for them. No analysis of justice, or fairness, or proportionality. No clear thought given to what was at stake. No recognition that a drug trafficking law is clearly meant to apply to individuals who traffic in drugs, meaning that they possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute them at some later time.
Just because a law CAN be applied, does that mean it should be applied? That is the question the SAO will not address.
Does the SAO really believe the Florida Legislature wanted the police to hunt down every individual who transports a prescribed controlled substance when the person transporting the drug is not the person who was proscribed the drug?
What needs to be addressed here is WHAT IF THE PROSECUTION WON? Would anyone in their right mind believe justice in the form of a 25 year mandatory prison sentence was appropriate?
We can accept and debate with those who argue "yes".
What we cannot accept are the apologists who aver that answering that question is not their job, especially when the apologist in question is the prosecutor.A prosecutor has a DUTY to seek justice, not to stretch every law to its conceivable limit. That is what this case is about, and that is what troubles us so much.
Apparently the SAO has recruited a class of prosecutors who are perfectly happy not to think for themselves and to send people to prison who don't belong in prison, so long as they have been ordered to do so.
In case you have ever wondered, this is why we have defense attorneys in this country.
See You In Court, thoroughly disgusted with the Dade SAO.
PS. We edited this post because while the "just following orders" explanation is very troubling, and obviously brings to mind Nazi Germany, our previous post was demeaning to the Holocaust, and beyond the bounds of propriety for arguing this issue, and that was wrong. We apologize to the prosecutors involved in this case and to anyone and everyone affected by the Holocaust.
Readers put trust in us to run this thing right. Every now and then we really get something wrong. This was one of those times.