Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Court of Public Opinion

Our Constitution-based system of jurisprudence depends on stringent rules of evidence, procedure, criminal law and a presumption that someone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. The defendant is entitled to that presumption only in the criminal trial. The rigid rules are appropriate in criminal proceedings, because the outcome for the accused can be deprivation of his life, liberty, or property.


Sitting as judge, jury, prosecutor, and defense attorney in the Court of Public Opinion, “We, the People” may appropriately use different rules to judge the performance of our elected and appointed government officials. We are kept on the course of fairness by our own internal moral compass and an acknowledgement of our own personal imperfections. We determine whom and what we believe and what weight we attach to our observations and information. We rely on our life’s experiences, our individual backgrounds, and our common sense to assess conduct and credibility. We render our verdict with our votes and with reasoned public commentary, mindful that if we elect or tolerate incompetent, co-opted or corrupted, or lazy officials, we share in the responsibility for the results they deliver.


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