Source: John Green

Comparing the Kim Potter and Alec Baldwin cases is a powerful illustration of the missing element in our criminal justice system.  Prosecutors are granted broad discretion in who they charge, so that they may consider the totality of circumstances and provide something that the literal interpretation of laws can’t — justice.  But the Potter and Baldwin cases show just how far astray from that goal our systems have wandered.

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The key events in both cases are remarkably similar.  In both cases, a human being was accidentally shot and killed with a firearm.  The facts in both cases are undisputed.  Both Kim Potter and Alec Baldwin shot and killed another person.  In neither case did the shooters intend to kill anyone.  But the totality of circumstances would indicate completely different treatments needed for actual “justice.”  The circumstances leading up to and following those incidents reveal just how corrupt our criminal justice system has become.