On bad precedents

I don’t care how you see Rahim Jaffer’s $500 fee for speeding, drunk driving and cocaine possession (actually he got off scotch-free on the last two), but hoping that a large enough Facebook group can overturn the results of our justice system is asking for trouble.

We live under the rule of law, as soon as that rule can be overturned by majority (or sizable minority) opinion, minorities lose their protection, and our basis as a free democracy is threatened.

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One thought on “On bad precedents”

  1. I agree that this shouldn’t affect this verdict. But I’m not sure it shouldn’t affect the state of the law. After all, I think it’s widely-accepted that Jaffer got off very, very easy. There should be some sort of mechanism to ensure that, in such cases, it’s at least clear what extenuating circumstances justified the decision, and the judge should have to explain (not defend, explain) the decision adequately.

    I’m okay with giving judges a lot of power, but they need to be accountable — in the sense of offering good justifications — and trained better than they are — to know more than lawyers know. I don’t see either holding particularly well in this case.

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