Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dersh on Spitzer

Here is Professor Alan Dershowitz's take on the Eliot Spitzer case. I post it because it is very different than the way most of us feel about Mr. Spitzer. Here's a snippet:

The federal criminal investigation that has led to Eliot Spitzer's resignation as governor of New York illustrates the great dangers all Americans face from vague and open-ended sex and money-transaction statutes.
Federal law, if read broadly, criminalizes virtually all sexual encounters for which something of value has been given. Federal money-laundering statutes criminalize many entirely legitimate and conventional banking transactions. Congress enacted these laws to give federal prosecutors wide discretion in deciding which "bad guys" to go after.
Generally, wise and intelligent prosecutors use their discretion properly -- to target organized crime, terrorism, financial predation, exploitation of children and the like. But the very existence of these selectively enforced statutes poses grave dangers of abuse. They lie around like loaded guns waiting to be used against the enemies of politically motivated investigators, prosecutors and politicians.

He concludes:

Lavrenti Beria, the head of Joseph Stalin's KGB, once quipped to his boss, "show me the man and I will find the crime." The Soviet Union was notorious for having accordion-like criminal laws that could be adjusted to fit almost any dissident target. The U.S. is a far cry from the Soviet Union, but our laws are dangerously overbroad.

Both Democrats and Republicans have targeted political adversaries over the years. The weapons of choice are almost always elastic criminal laws. And few laws are more elastic, and susceptible to abuse, than federal laws on money laundering and sex crimes. For the sake of all Americans, these laws should be narrowed and limited to predatory crimes with real victims.



Anonymous said...

This man will defend any person who supports Israel and/or who is Jewish.

He avoids the key point - Spitzer was wielding the gun he complains about and doing it like a mad man.

Anonymous said...

Some of us Jews are tired of Dershowitz and his bull. He totally misstates Federal money laundering and related structuring laws. Could it be he has not read a certain Supreme Court decision, or he is ignoring it because Spitzer worked for him. Dershowitz is not to be trusted except when he speaks about terrorism.