"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Portrait of a Public Servant


David Hicks is the former elected Commonwealth's Attorney of Richmond. Some of the highlights of his tenure in that office include the flight of a large number of highly experienced prosecutors, most to neighboring jurisdictions; undercutting the former chief of police by advocating that his predecessor be re-hired (despite that predecessor having been forced to resign as Detroit's new chief after being charged with trying to carry a firearm onto an airplane); and perhaps most bizzarely, personally prosecuting two police officers for separate police shootings (he was 0 for 2, the first case resulted in two mistrials followed by an acquittal after Hicks pursued a reduced charge; the second resulted in a deadlocked-jury mistrial, results all the more surprising because Richmond juries are not commonly viewed as overly police-friendly).

So why are we not shocked to learn that he also sent his deputy to intervene in a felony assault of a police officer case and dismiss it after taking it from the assigned prosecutor? The defendant in the case? The daughter of Hicks' office receptionist. Perhaps continuing his tradition of disdain for the police, he did not even notify the victim police officer, much less consult with him about the case. In a response that elicits chuckles, Hicks claims he would have done the same for anyone else because there was no probable cause for the charge. Right. The elected C.A. would personally intervene in any John Q. Public's case to drop charges without even speaking to the arresting officer.

Not surprisingly, in one of his first cases out in private practice, he is representing the family of a man who fled from police, struggled with an officer, and was shot and killed by the officer.

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