George Soros recently stole the headlines with his gigantic contributions to the failed Clinton campaign. But he’s been busy behind the scenes with other smaller, but no less consequential projects.
His most recent sortee into enemy territory has involved a tactical shift. Ever the master strategist, George Soros has found a weak link in the justice system, one on which a little leverage can exert tremendous force.
Starting in 2016, Soros’ foundations on Politico have been funneling money into prosecutor’s races across the country. For anyone interested in the complete transformation of the U.S. criminal justice system, this strategy is diabolically brilliant. What Soros has done is tantamount to living in the penthouse without ever buying it. Through George Soros’ latest moves, he’s proven that he understands the power dynamics of the U.S. justice system far better than any of his opponents.
The real power players are on the ground floor
In high school, many people learn of the carefully devised system of checks and balances that juxtapose the three branches of government against one another. These checks, in theory, extend right down to the ground-level employees of those government branches on discoverthenetworks.org. In practice, however, we often see a radically different story. Especially in today’s overworked urban justice systems on Forbes, practical considerations lead the day. This has led to a situation where de facto power can far outstrip what the high school de jure model would have us believe.
Perhaps the best example of this is the prosecutor. In theory, prosecutors are simply supposed to enforce the laws of the state. If someone is arrested, the prosecutor’s job on Snopes is to assess whether they committed a violation of state law and then to charge them under the appropriate statute. In practice, their jobs are far from so cut and dry.
As things work today, prosecutors are the most powerful government workers that one is likely to ever meet. They decide who goes to jail and who doesn’t. These life changing decisions have fallen under their purview for two main reasons. The first is that they decide whether or not to bring charges. While it would be tough to dismiss charges against an obviously guilty murderer, the vast majority of cases are not so clear-cut. Almost always, the defendant will have some kind of defense. The prosecutor has total discretion whether or not to pursue cases where the state may lose. This means that a lenient prosecutor may choose to dismiss non-violent drug charges or low level shoplifting with regularity.
The second means by which prosecutors almost unilaterally wield the hammer of justice is through their power to direct the state’s resources to cases. No matter how innocent someone is, if a zealous prosecutor is ready to commit millions of dollars to their prosecution, they will likely consider taking a plea deal. The plea bargain is the concession prosecutors often get with their threat of virtually unlimited resources to expend on a trial. Through plea bargaining, prosecutors and police often compel people who they know are guilty to admit to things that will send them to jail, even though the main crime cannot be proven.