The Don And His Free Soldiers

I saw this one coming. Now Georgia and federal law enforcement are being called on to put out the fire.

In the climax of the Fulton County indictments, I learned of a quirk in Georgia law. The names of Grand Jurors are listed on the indictment. Judges have to option of redacting them but in this case (as in almost all cases) that option was not exercised. What ensued was predictable.

In a matter of hours their names and addresses were published on right wing websites. (No such instance has been reported as of this writing but it wouldn’t surprise me if one or more had been misidentified.) Now law enforcement is scrambling to put the genie back in the bottle. Try as you might, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Many southern states, Georgia certainly among them, have Jim Crow era laws still on the books. This one is among them. In days gone by only whites would sit on a grand jury and it was expected they would first enforce the unwritten law that a white could never be indicted for committing a crime that had a Black victim. If their names were public that would theoretically prevent any moral decision being made that upset the “code”. Result: Klansman goes free and the Black victim is left without a legal resolution.

Trump’s (and his minions’) words have consequences. Most often consequences contrary to America’s best interests. In today’s case the indictments are in but this action is meant to intimidate future trial jurors. If you know you, your home, your family and your job are in jeopardy if you vote guilty on any charges doesn’t it make it more difficult to do so? Remember the prosecution has to go 12-0 in a criminal case; the defense only 1-11.

1/6 is probably the best example of the power and repercussions of rhetoric, especially if it is echoed. Remember “It will be wild”?

The effect of this law is anti-justice, anti-democracy and anti-American. The Georgia legislature should repeal it at its first opportunity! I can almost guarantee they won’t even take it up.

As to Trump, who is the current ringleader, he must be muzzled. I hate to see “modifications” of the First Amendment’s free speech provision but it is not absolute. I feel that Trump personally, not just his lawyers, need to be called into court and given strict instructions. When he violates them – and history tells me he will and in short order – he needs to be incarcerated in some form or other and prohibited from communication. When his minions (or as he truly views them – temporarily useful free idiots/soldiers) spout violent/inflammatory rhetoric they also need to be incarcerated.

The best way to handle a fire is to prevent it in the first place by among other things not making conditions ripe for it to break out.

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