To know justice you must know mercy
Political class freedom redistribution (Part 2)
After last week’s post we received some push-back on OCGJ’s notion that Dennis Anuszewski’s 10-year history of downloading and viewing child pornography is arguably a victimless crime. To some, it’s black and white; if you watch pornography, even in the privacy of your own home, it’s a crime so serious that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is justified in levying a 10-year prison sentence as the U.S. District Court (Southern District of Ohio) did with Dennis Anuszewski (according to an April 9, 2010 press release by the U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Ohio). No one should take pornography of any kind lightly, but we believe it’s fair to ask, “Did Anuszewski’s punishment fit the crime described by the DOJ press release?” If you believe as we do that the answer is “no,” we can further agree that Anuszewski received little or no mercy.
There’s a paradox here worth asking a few more questions. If the DOJ put Anuszewski away for 10 years for downloading and watching porn on his personal computer, what did they do to the folks that pedaled the porn for profit? Are they still in business? If they are, they probably have a slick attorney who based the defense on freedom of speech, a luxury Dennis Anuszewski probably couldn’t afford. One would also wonder, “How many degenerates are out there today in cyberspace making millions peddling illegal porn, not to mention recruiting and exploiting children for nefarious purposes?” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine would probably concede that human trafficking to supply slave child prostitutes for public and private use is a booming business nationwide. The U.S. Attorney pinned none of that on Anuszewski, and if he did, Anuszewski’s 10-year prison sentence was probably too lenient.
On the other hand we have Monte Zinn, a convicted felon who received a nominal fine and two years’ probation for fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud for illegally trafficking more than a dozen teenage boys from Fiji. However, unlike Anuszewski, Zinn had some “redeeming qualities.” He’s a wealthy political class insider in Clark County; he’s a big-time philanthropist, and for years Zinn helped Rotary International manage their foreign exchange student program. That’s a commendable resume, especially the last two items, but even that begs the question, “How much of that was meant to help gloss over what went on under the radar shielded from public scrutiny?”
We led off this post with the assertion that “To know justice you must know mercy.” Tragically our legal system often flips that around when they pick and choose who gets mercy and who doesn’t depending on status within or outside the political class. More often than not with the citizen class, especially in the case of many nonviolent crimes, the judge is far afield from both justice and mercy.