Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Prosecutors pursuing Alec Baldwin for all the wrong reasons

 That's the title of my latest article, this one for the Albuquerque Journal.

Here's how it concludes:

While it is true that the rich and famous often enjoy some advantages in the criminal justice system (mostly resources), they face obstacles that are unique and challenging.

Baldwin’s case is a good example. No one really thinks that the stunt double would have been charged with manslaughter if he was in Baldwin’s shoes.

District Attorneys (unlike federal prosecutors) are elected. And perhaps the New Mexico DA believes the old motto that all press is good press, thinking that this prosecution will help her in the next election. She may also be banking on the fact that many jurors are predisposed against wealthy and powerful defendants.

She will put more resources into this case than any other in her office because she will want to win this case at all costs. And, unlike most defendants, Baldwin will be subjected to immense media scrutiny because of who he is. This is a recurrent problem faced by wealthy and well-known defendants, who often are prosecuted much more aggressively than regular people.

In the United States, we put more people in jail than any other country on Earth. Now, we are going to prosecute accidents? Nah, that’s not really what’s happening here. What’s happening is that the DA is going after the well-known Baldwin for all of the wrong reasons.


Anonymous said...

There's at least one person who believes a stunt double would have been charged.

the trialmaster said...

The New Mexico prosecutor is looking for fame on a national stage. She fails to understand the distinction between simple negligence and gross or criminal negligent conduct. I would be greatly surprised if a judge does not grant a dismissal based upon the law.

Anonymous said...

White privileged actor with beautiful wife, beautiful ex-wives and girlfriends, deserves to feel what it's like to be charged with a crime he did not do. It's called equal justice.
Those yoga classes and vegan meals in the New Mexico state prison will not be what he is used to on the outside. Plus as the 11th circuit continually says, innocence is not the issue. Nor are tragic circumstances like being wrongly arrested and kept in jail for three days because the staff didn't want to spend two fing minutes and check his prints. So as long as Mr. Fancy Pants house in the Hamptons gets due process, (procedural not substantive) then I say arrest him and let's pick 12 and roll the dice. Trial Tax fully in effect.

(if those of you reading this do not get the sarcasm, go to the sesame street website por favor)

Anonymous said...

A person died someone must pay

Anonymous said...

Tone doesn't always come through in text and I can't be sure exactly what 722am meant (maybe sarcasm? or cynicism? or maybe s/he believes just that), but the notion that "A person died [so] someone must pay" is asinine. No, just because someone died does not mean that someone must pay. People die. Everyone dies. And often those deaths are tragic. But death is just a fact of life and sometimes accidents happen. Not every accident is a crime or even a tort (I don't care what that guy with the dick joke commercials about his "big firm" tells you on TV).

Anonymous said...

It's DOM's blog, so, it's his way and that's that - which is as it should be. But I do find the comment moderation funny. No clear rhyme or reason. Comments are approved and published, and then the next day they disappear. And the comments that disappear don't always seem that objectionable, at least not compared to some of the ones that stay. I assume that he has a staff member running this blog with some level of discretion and it's not actually him doing the comment moderation.

I point this out because there was a comment between the 722am and the 254pm comments yesterday that has now vanished. I remember it being on the chippy side, but don't recall it being that bad. Of course, I didn't write it and don't remember exactly what it said so I could be misremembering.

Given the life of their own that this blog and Rumpole's blog have taken, a comment moderation policy might be interesting. But then again, in a room full of lawyers, that could become its own much bigger issue.

Anyway, thanks for keeping the blog going DOM.