"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

Monday, May 05, 2008

Petulance

From a "true believer":
...I was none too pleased when I learned earlier this year that another Northern Virginia bar association, to which I belong -- the Fairfax County Bar Association -- took it upon itself to have a big dinner earlier this year honoring the outgoing elected prosecutor Robert Horan, Jr. This was not in my name, and I plan to inquire how Mr. Horan was designated for the honor in the first place, and whether any dissent was registered before the event went forward.

I have nothing against Robert Horan as a person versus as a recent former elected prosecutor. However, I do not think that it was justified for the Fairfax County Bar Association to have honored him. For instance, under Mr. Horan's watch -- at least during the ten years that I have been dealing with prosecutors from his office -- his prosecutors generally stuck close to Virginia's unfairly restrictive discovery rules, and this seems to continue under the current chief Fairfax County prosecutor. Some Virginia county prosecutors' offices provide discovery beyond such restrictions; that not only helps reduce the unfairness of Virginia's criminal discovery rules, but also assists defendants in making an informed decision whether to settle a criminal case through a guilty plea.

In any event, the Fairfax Bar Association's honor of Robert Horan, Jr., was not in my name; nor, of course, was it in my clients' names.
Note, our valiant defender of the Constitution can offer nothing against Bob Horan other than that his assistants follow the rules of discovery laid out by the Virginia Supreme Court. Not surprising, given that Bob Horan has had a long and untarnished career as the elected prosecutor of the largest jurisdiction in Virginia.

I know I'm the enemy of freedom and all, but it seems pretty small-minded to begrudge the guy a farewell dinner.

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