Prosecutors Must Choose Wisely When Enforcing Rule Of Law | Law360

Legally, Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 election interference case and Hunter Biden’s gun charge case have more in common than you might think. Whatever the right outcome of each case should be, both cases illustrate exercises in prosecutorial discretion.

The use and misuse of this discretion is worth studying. It can signal whether we live under the rule of law or under the yoke of oppression. This principle is true all over the world.

Indeed, bribery and other forms of corruption are illegal in Russia,
China and other totalitarian countries. The absence of law isn’t the
problem in those places. Corruption is illegal in both places and Russia[1] and China[2] at times have made a show of their anti-corruption efforts.

Instead, the problem is a matter of which corrupt people get arrested — and more importantly which corrupt people don’t get arrested.

Totalitarians well understand this. Their control over who gets prosecuted for crimes — and when — is what keeps strongmen strong. It allows them to tolerate corruption when it serves them and to strike it down when one of its beneficiaries offends the authoritarian or his cronies.

In the United States, law is supposed to be king. But individual humans still have to pick and choose what violations of the law get prosecuted… Read more

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