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MAGA’s introduction to our criminal justice system

Jamison KoehlerCriminal Procedure, Current Events, Humor, Politics

Narcissist that he is, Donald Trump approaches life as if he is the first person ever to learn or experience something.

No one knew, for example, that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican until Trump learned of this fact.

“Prime the pump” – a phrase that is in fact older than Trump himself — did not exist until Trump first coined it a couple of years ago. 

No one knew about the “coyotes” who help smuggle people across the U.S.-Mexico border until Trump was briefed on the situation. And did you know that the phrase refers to actual human beings, not animals?

And now the world – through Donald Trump – is learning about the criminal justice system in the United States. 

We have learned, for example, that a defendant cannot speak out in court. 

The defendant must defer to the judge.

The defendant cannot criticize, stare down or otherwise intimidate witnesses. 

Courtrooms can be cold and uncomfortable. 

Jails can be even colder and even more uncomfortable, often with inhumane conditions.   This is true for all inmates, not just the “tourists” who decided to visit the nation’s Capitol building on January 6. 

The defendant has the constitutional right to call witnesses on his own behalf.  That “a lot of witnesses were not called” can only be blamed on one’s own lawyers.

The defendant has a Fifth Amendment right to a grand jury and indictment and notice of the charges against him.  It is therefore probably not a good idea to complain that “the defendant doesn’t even know the charges against him.”  This might serve as an admission that the defendant was either too ignorant or too lazy to have figured this out. 

The defendant has a constitutional right to testify on his own behalf.  This should not be confused with a court’s gag order preventing the defendant from making certain out-of-court statements.

More generally, we have learned that the FBI employs rules of engagement with respect to any major operation.  These rules are designed to protect both its agents and the public at large.  They are not a recent creation by the Biden Administration to serve as a cover for assassinating Trump. 

There is a difference between state and federal courts.  Joe Biden has no ability to order state prosecutors to do anything.  To claim otherwise is to admit you do not understand the concept of federalism.  

We have learned that if you do not want a “lying scumbag lawyer” to testify against you, it might be a good idea moving forward to be more careful about the people you hire in the first place. 

We have learned that the same rules apply to everyone.  It does not matter if you are a homeless person or the former president of the United States. 

Finally, and in the end, we have learned that we can complain about the unfairness of everything.  We can whine about our victimhood.  Or we can open our minds and try to educate ourselves.