Tagged: police

Law 24: On Hate Crimes and Love Crimes

Intro
1 Definition
2 Preliminary Dismissal of Deceptive Appearances
3 Discussion

Intro

In Europe they have hate crime laws, hate speech laws, and police states. (Cf. City of Houston v. Hill, U.S. 1987, holding that “[t]he freedom of individuals verbally to oppose or challenge police action without thereby risking arrest is one of the principal characteristics by which we distinguish a free nation from a police state.” By this well-thought definition European countries are not free nations but police states indeed.)

In U.S. they only have hate crime laws.

What makes hate crime laws so unexceptional?

1 Definition

“Hate crimes are offenses that are committed because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation of another individual or group of individuals. … Various state courts found that, since the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment protects speech and thought, even when that speech or thought is offensive, any law criminalizing thought should be rendered unconstitutional.” (Hate crimes by Kristin L. Stewart, J.D. [excerpt] in Encyclopedia of American Law, D. Schultz ed., 2002)

If a crime is found to be this or that “(name a crime) as a hate crime,” penalties are increased.

2 Preliminary Dismissal of Deceptive Appearances

Contrary to appearances, hate crime laws in the United States are probably not designed to protect the white population from black criminals. How, then, could such appearances have arisen?

First, we are told about an epidemics of hate crimes. “If you believe the news, today’s America is plagued by an epidemic of violent hate crimes” is from the presentation of the book Hate Crime Hoax: How the Left is Selling a Fake Race War (2019) by Wilfred Reilly, assistant professor of political science at Kentucky State University.

Second, we know the massive proportion of black inmates in the prison population of the States: cf. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (2012) by Michelle Alexander, visiting professor at Union Theological Seminary, New York City.

Third, in Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a hate crime state statute. A group of black men had assaulted a white boy after watching the film Mississippi Burning. It was found their attack was racially motivated and the increased penalty of the instigator, Todd Mitchell, justified.

From (1), (2) & (3), one would swear blacks are responsible for the epidemic of hate crime. Indeed, it is hard to see how a crime epidemic, namely a hate crime epidemic, would not be reflected in the prison inmates population, that is, how the disproportionate numbers of black inmates in prison would not reflect the hate crime epidemic, especially considering the emblematic precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court on hate crime laws applies to a black defendant who challenged the constitutionality of his increased penalty.

This is a deceptive appearance. In reality hate crime laws protect minorities.

3 Discussion

i
Hate crime laws trivialize crime

“This book is as timely as today’s headlines. Professor Lawrence has written a powerful, persuasive, and eloquent call for more effective action by Congress and the states to deal with these despicable crimes. Civil Rights is still the unfinished business of America. Hate crimes are uniquely destructive and divisive, because their impact extends far beyond the victim. They poison entire communities and undermine the ideals for which America stands. They deserve to be punished with the full force of the law, and Professor Lawrence’s book brings us closer to that important goal.” Senator Edward M. Kennedy on Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes under American Law (2002) by Frederick M. Lawrence.

This praise by Sen. Kennedy contains all the appalling mistakes an informed person is supposed not to make when thinking and talking about crime and the law.

“This book is as timely as today’s headlines.”

It is known, it is even common-sense, since at least Roscoe Pound (Criminal Justice in America, 1930), that to resort to designing criminal law in hysterical reaction to headlines is the worst one can think of, it is Lynch mentality smuggled into the legislative bodies and through them into the courts.

Sen. Kennedy’s is the confession he was a headline-law maker, one who made headline laws. With lawmakers like him, it is headlines which make laws. Yet no one knows what the headlines reflect (a few people believe they reflect reality). If media were neutral reporting agencies, then, given what has been said in II about New Jim Crow, media treatment of crime would reflect the makeup of prison population (because prison population is a good token for the known figure of crime), that is to say the media would devote the same share of crime news to black crime as the share of black inmates population in prisons. Is this the case?

If this is not, even if it were because the media are not racist whereas lawmakers, the police and the judiciary are, it turns out they make their headlines according to their own notions rather than to an actual state of things. If the state of the society as far as crime is concerned is institutional (colorblind) racism, i.e. a New Jim Crow, and the media correct this because they go against the stream, then admittedly their headlines are no different from political pamphlets; therefore legislators are not bound to take their headlines as guidelines, anymore than they are to follow the views of any scholar, intellectual, or writer.

The same holds with the media coverage of hate crime. Sen. Kennedy wants to legislate in a “timely” fashion, following the headlines. Given what has just been said, however, he is nothing but the willing audience of a hate crime law lobby, whereas the true situation might or might not support a need for new or further legislation. Obviously, if the coverage is a hoax (Wilfred Reilly), no legislation is called for by the timely headlines. (Needless to say the notion of timely headlines is absurd: Reread the sentence and you’ll see Sen. Kennedy actually talks of timely headlines; however there is but one timely time for news headlines.)

“These despicable crimes”

Which crimes are not despicable? Crimes that a senator is more likely to commit, like embezzlement?

“Hate crimes are uniquely destructive and divisive, because their impact extends far beyond the victim.”

That the impact of all crimes “extends far beyond the victim” is on the contrary the obvious truth, one at the foundation of the secular distinction between tort law and criminal law, and hardly, therefore, could a premise be more unsupportive of the conclusion, namely, that hate crimes are unique.

“They poison entire communities and undermine the ideals for which America stands.”

One would swear other crimes are mere trifles.

“They deserve to be punished with the full force of the law.”

Yes, like any other crime. Actually, a good axiom of jurisprudence is that crimes deserve to be punished with the full force of the law. Accordingly, since every crime is punishable by the full force of the law, one cannot make a difference between one crime and the same crime “as a hate crime.”

If such a difference were legitimate, it would actually imply a decrease in penalties for hate crimes.

ii
Hate crimes are crimes of passion
,
therefore the penalty must be decreased, not increased

Here come the love crimes.

I had intended the word as a joke. I thought: If one talks of hate crimes, there must be love crimes too, which is absurd. Then I remembered the crimes of passion (crimes passionnels): “The ‘crime of passion’ defense challenges the mens rea element by suggesting that there was no malice aforethought, and instead the crime was committed in the ‘heat of passion’.” (Wikipedia: Crime of passion)

Crimes of passion are what I would like to call the love crimes. Love is a passion. Hate is no less a passion than love –sometimes love turns to hate– and therefore, as the crime of passion defense applies to love crimes, the defense applies to hate crimes too.

Think about Todd Mitchell, the black defendant in Wisconsin v. Mitchell who “instigated an attack against a white young boy.” He had just been watching the film Mississippi Burning, which stirred the rage of oppression in his heart, to the point he could not stand it anymore. His brothers and sisters in race had been enslaved, trafficked, segregated, Jim-Crowed for centuries. Hatred was stirred in him, his spirits cried for vengeance. A young white boy walked by.

Even if Mitchell had been animated by an ideology, by the liberal ideology that cannot stress enough the evils of a system and the burden of debt currently weighing upon the white man till the end of times, even if he had been an avid reader of liberal books, still his deed would not be an ideological crime –because there is no such thing under the U.S. Constitution, which protects freedom of conscience– but a crime of passion.

(Even the minutest premeditation in coldest blood could be a crime of passion, I find, because hate is a passion, just like the cheated husband who premeditates his wife’s death could invoke the defense in my eyes, because from love to despair time may elapse but the heat of passion remains, the heat of passion is not the same thing as the heat of the moment.)

But the Supreme Court –Rehnquist Court (surely this rings a little bell)– did not see a liberal black boy under the dramatic and melodramatic influence of a Hollywood blockbuster stuffed with the most advanced techniques of emotions and mind manipulation, no, and “the Wisconsin statute…was not punishing the defendant for his or her bigoted beliefs or statements, but rather the predicted ramifications of his or her crime” (oyez.org). Mark these words: A hate crime law does not punish a defendant for his or her bigoted beliefs or statements. I have no idea what the Court, or its commentator, means by “the predicted ramifications of the crime” and as I have not read the whole decision yet I reserve my judgment, only saying it looks like a mighty innovation in the field of criminal law and I’m surprised it is not more discussed in academia and among advocates of hate crime laws, who keep saying, instead, that hate crime laws punish bigoted biases (one also talks of bias crimes).

So very true is it that hate crimes are crimes of passion that it is even positive law in the gay panic defense. A man subject to homosexual advances may react violently with assault, battery, murder attempt, sometimes the seducer’s death. The defendant can invoke gay panic defense at his trial and if the motion is accepted his act will be treated as a crime of passion. As the reader can well imagine, statutes to that effect have disappeared from about every legal system in the western world, and now the same acts are likely to be treated as hate crimes with increased rather than decreased penalties. (Likely because how could such a reaction not be the sign of strong biases?)

iii
Hate crimes are crimes of passion
and like other crimes of passion they have no place left amidst our laws

Today crimes of passion are hardly law any longer. A man finding his wife with another man will shoot them and then kill himself, and perhaps his kids in the bargain, because he knows society will not pardon him the heat of passion. He knows only cuckolders are excused nowadays.

As one, therefore, sees crime of passion laws dwindling, one must draw the consequences as to the notion itself, which includes hate crimes. Hate crimes can have no place amidst our laws.

iv
Hate crime laws shift the tendency of regimes from majoritarian to countermajoritarian

In aristocratic regimes, the nobility is a minority too.

If one agrees the purpose of hate crime laws is not, contrary to appearances, or not only to hold the grudge of black people against whites for a past of slavery and unequal segregation in check, then one must consider the following reasoning.

Hate crime laws are designed to protect minorities from the violent manifestation of biases. That minorities would bear a natural grudge against the majority for the latter’s entrenched position and status does not seem to ever enter the mind of advocates of bias crime laws and I have never heard one such advocate express concern for the safety of individuals in the majority due to a grudge of this kind. Yet it occurs to me that, if I belonged to a minority and the majority had privileged status in the society, I would resent the fact. In case I expressed my resentment with violent acts, that would be hate crime then, would it not? But no, we are never told of such psychological problems; one has to know the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions to be aware that anti-white feelings can be a bias, and in some European countries you would look for the same kind of precedent as Wisconsin v. Mitchell in vain (but not because such crimes never happen).

All in all, one can safely bet that a risk of increased penalties exists above all for crimes where victims are from minorities. Therefore, if a criminal who is neither a hate criminal nor a love criminal, only an indifferent criminal who wants money, thinks –and I claim the media and politicians have inoculated this thinking in him– that he risks increased penalties if his victim belongs to a minority, then the obvious consequence is that he will avoid picking a victim among identifiable minorities and on the contrary target individuals from the majority. Hate crime laws point to the majority as self-evident victim for “passionless” criminals. Clearly, a government must have strong countermajoritarian mechanisms to be able to pass such laws – to the point that one wonders what role is left to its majoritarian mechanisms.

v
Hate crime laws are hate speech laws

This section is divided in two parts (a) and (b), the former being the mere quote of an earlier writing, Hate crime laws are unconstitutional (Law 20).

a/ Hate crime laws are unconstitutional view-based discrimination.

It’s time the courts declared hate crime laws unconstitutional. This is long overdue. How can hate speech be protected as the U.S. Supreme Court intends (Brandenburg v. Ohio [1969], R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul [1992], Snyder v. Phelps [2011], Matal v. Tam [2017]) when public figures known for taking positions some call hate speech must always fear being provoked to offenses, even minor, that would lead to aggravated punishment while the opponents who provoked the incidents have no such Damocles sword hanging over their heads?

Let’s take an example. If a public figure vilified by LGBT groups as a hater gets entangled in a brawl with LGBT hecklers, he may face hate crime charges while the others will face unruly behavior charges or such like (they are not known for being haters because they’re the ones who call people haters and the media follow that stance).

The “haters” (who have a constitutional right to hate speech) are at greater risk of frame-up because for them even the slightest charges can be greatly detrimental due to the increased penalties with which hate crimes are dealt with. Hate crime laws protect a minority heckler’s veto. Due to such legislation, whole classes of people are therefore deprived of their full rights to political participation for lack of equal protection under the law. This is government repression of political opponents.

b/ Hate crime laws are conceived as disguised hate speech laws.

Discretionary police and prosecution power serves to squelch speech in scores of contexts, by making pretextual use of laws against disorderly conduct, trespass, unlawful assembly, disobeying a lawful order (like orders to move or keep moving), breach of the peace, and other such low-level criminal statutes, and scholars point out the failure of courts to address the issue properly.

The issue must be of increased concern when to low-level incriminations may be added the hate crime label. Since there have been various cases of “petty larceny, as a hate crime,” one can well imagine charges such as “trespass, as a hate crime” or “disobeying a lawful order, as a hate crime.”

Often, in the usual cases, charges are dropped and the victim of malicious policing is no more heard of. In the case of hate crimes there could be no dropping of the charges, for obvious reasons. Therefore, since police power can be used to squelch one’s speech and the courts have no sure means to second-guess the discretionary use of police power (filming police on public space is a hazy legal issue: don’t you fancy it be a well-established right), I believe advocates of hate crime laws intend to take advantage of the situation to have hate crime laws serve as hate speech laws. I believe it for the simple reason that if hate speech laws were not unconstitutional these are the laws they would demand. We have seen it in Europe: the same rhetoric used in the U.S. in support of hate crime laws is used in Europe to advocate hate speech laws.

So long as hate crime laws exist, the U.S. is at risk of becoming –if not being already, through the judicially undetected, pretextual use of executive discretion– a police state like current European Old World regimes.

Law 12: The Lunar Breeze Effect Flag

The Lunar Breeze Effect Flag

For full understanding of the following, read section The Latest on Wikipedia’s Moon Landing Hoax Debunking in Law 10.

“Neil, it’s cool you went on the Moon but… a good artistic picture is what matters.”

“One that ties the room together.”

So you take the French Wikipedia version for granted. Yet the English Wikipedia version is different: “The flag was rippled because it had been folded during storage – the ripples could be mistaken for movement in a still photo.” Here there is no word about an intention to tie the room together, the ripples are accidental, they are folds due to storage which turn out to make the flag look as if it were fluttering in the wind.

As if the authors of the English Wikipedia page dared not confess what my interlocutor endorses wholeheartedly. As if, namely, they doubted it was judicious to fake a flag fluttering in the wind in a picture shot on the moon. As if they dared not confess it because of the issue involved in taking people for idiots.

NASA Picture With Lunar Breeze Effect Flag
Chinese Flag Without Breeze Effect (Source: BBC Dec 4, 2020 “China becomes second nation to plant flag on the Moon”)

*

Crack Hills Have Eyes 2

See Law 11.

Politicians make laws (lawmaker=the legislative power) and they also enforce laws as executive power (from which police take their orders).

What my post denounced about Crack Hill is that politicians qua executive power do not enforce the law politicians vote qua legislative power. That is, as taking crack is a criminal offence, politicians qua executive are taking a very light view of the law when they enforce it by distributing pipes and paying hotel rooms to criminals. If this is their idea of the issue, then they must take the initiative of a legislative debate to repeal the law and decriminalize crack consumption, and stop telling people they enforce the law by ignoring it.

This is a huge problem, because when executive officials do not want to enforce the law, they don’t bother to have it repealed, they just instruct the services (police etc) to ignore it, or to do as they please.

A crackhead in France may live in a free hotel room with new pipes every Thursday or behind bars, it all depends on the police’s mood.

There’s no rule of law anymore.

ii

Government protectionism of the black market.

Yes, government and police protectionism of the black market, since without police forces the government could do nothing, so the police are always responsible (if only by abiding) whereas one may imagine cases where only police are responsible while the executive authorities know nothing of what is going on.

Now, as my interlocutor compared enforcement of Eighteenth Amendment and the Volstead Act (Prohibition) with the contemporary war on drugs, let me add the following. The same politicians who in France are implementing the briliant crack plan I have just been talking of, eschewing enforcement of national drug laws, are eager to point at the figures of prison inmates in the U.S. (highest rate of prison inmates per inhabitant in the world, so they say) as a reason why they ought not to follow the same path. In several other, perhaps most European countries, we hear the same discourse.

But these fellows dare not repeal their own national drug laws, and the result of this slighting of the law is that these countries are not rule of law countries anymore. The prison inmates figures are the price the United States are paying for upholding the rule of law. God Bless America. In Europe they are leaving everything at the discretion of the bureaucracy. Whether one will be punished for consuming drugs depends not on the law (which still says they must be punished) but on how they were perceived at some point by some guy in the bureaucracy, some cop, who will have them prosecuted in spite of the unwritten rule of bureaucracy saying that those poor devils should be left alone.

The poor devil who did not please the cop will be prosecuted, a judge will hear him and, say we are in France, a country of written law, the judge, although he has heard of the bureaucratic rule, will open the legal code at the page where the article laying down the penalties for consuming drugs is, and he will condemn the poor devil. (Compared to the functionarial nonentity that a French judge is, American judges are intellectuals.)

This is what European politicians are so proud of – the fact that no one knows what to expect. They revel in a world of arbitrariness.

*

Biden supports suppressing online “misinformation,” press secretary says.

Was it on his electoral platform or does he just add it now as an extra?

*

Justin Trudeau dismisses critics of internet censorship bill as “tin foil hats.”

The same guy explained that derogatory speech is the same as shouting fire in a crowded theater – the classic example in SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) case law that would serve to send his bill to the garbage can.

*

“Free speech” lawyer argues “lying” should be an impeachable offense.

The levels of nincompoopery in academia (“law professor at George Washington University”) are staggering. To think that these fellows are comfortable talking about truth and lies as they do… they really have got no clue. Let me take an example. Husband and wife want to divorce because it turns out they don’t see things the same way. One issue to settle is who will keep the kids. Why is it an issue? Because husband and wife both want to raise the kids according to his or her own views and ideas, according to how he or she sees things. Will you ask a law professor at George Washington University to tell the judge whose ideas are truths and whose are untruths, calling the latter lies, before taking a decision? Nonsense. If an amicus curiae talked like that (within an acceptable margin in the frame of the society – as expressing some ideas, like belief in witchcraft or alien abductions, would probably be detrimental in the case to the party expressing these ideas) he would be dismissed at once, as trying to impose his or her own set of preconceived ideas.

ii

What I wrote may sound confusing, at least for two kinds of people in America. Some will remember that experts in American courts are experts of the parties, who try to sustain their party’s position, whereas I seem to be talking of experts of the courts, which exist in civil law (as opposed to common law) countries, experts who had rather remain as neutral as possible in order not to fall into disrepute.

Others will remember that in America jury trial is the rule in civil trials and I seem to omit the fact completely. In fact, divorce trials by jury are rare even in the U.S.:

« Only a few states allow for any type of jury trial in a divorce case.  Even then, those states limit the issues that can go before a jury. For example, Texas, which has the most liberal rules concerning jury trials in divorce cases, is the only state that allows juries to decide which parent gets custody of the children and where the children will live. » (rightlawyers.com)

Unless most divorces occur in Texas, the majority of divorced American parents must abide by a decision on who is to keep the children which was not taken by a jury.

Still, my point was, if an expert smugly told the judge, like some professor of George Washington University, that the kids cannot be in custody of the father, for instance, because he voted for Trump and Trump is a liar so you cannot rely on such a one to take care of kids, she would be laughed at or I do not know my judge. Yet she writes books like that, which tells you what a tyrant she must be in her classroom even if people shrug shoulders at her in most other circumstances.

Now, judges are probably more of an official’s profile than the majority of people, so the fact that divorce trials are not decided by juries is also more likely to be detrimental to parents who hold certain ideas, even not so fringe as belief in alien abductions. I should think a parent known to be a Gab user, for instance, is likely to lose his kids in a divorce court when a divorce is filed. Correct me if I’m wrong.

*

UK government accused of promoting a “nanny state” with proposed online ban on high calorie food ads.

Is commercial speech speech or rather the polluting of speech? Commercial speech wasn’t protected in the US before the 1970s (Virginia State Pharmacy Board v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, 1976). This is the kind of view that makes authoritarian regimes comfortable with their speech suppression systems, as they can say to their people: See, we’re protecting you and your free thinking from the relentless, nauseating pushing by unthinking business whose sole aim is profit.

In any case, while the US Supreme Court has found that commercial speech is speech, it does not grant it the same level of protection as non-commercial speech, so the UK policy here described could be implemented in the states too within the law.

*

Bonkers About Lèse-Majesté

Prince Harry complains about online “misinformation” calls First Amendment “bonkers.”

Prince Harry: “I’ve got so much I want to say about the First Amendment; I still don’t understand it, but it is bonkers.”

No surprise: “In 2013, the Ministry of Justice admitted that the Treason Felony Act 1848 had accidentally been ditched. The 165-year-old law threatens anyone calling for the abolition of the monarchy with life imprisonment.” (The Sun, Oct 20, 2016)

Information about lese-majeste legislation in UK is deceptive: they make all sorts of claims, so much so that nobody can know what the legal situation is. (They call that rule of law?)

On Wikipedia page Lèse-majesté, for UK they write: “The Treason Felony Act of 1848 makes it an offence to advocate for the abolition of the monarchy. Such advocation is punishable by up to life imprisonment under the Act. Though still in the statute book, the law is no longer enforced.”

Yet the source for that is a Dec 2013 paper by The Guardian, “Calling for abolition of monarchy is still illegal, UK justice ministry admits,” with subtitle “Department wrongly announced that section of law threatening people with life imprisonment had been repealed.”

The government spreads misinformation on the issue. That the law be no longer enforced does not mean it will not be enforced in case someone violates it (they make it an entirely discretionary decision of prosecuting authorities), only it turns out nobody dares speak freely on the issue (except, probably, ‘accredited’ cartoonists trained in the art of sycophancy under the guise of joking, i.e. court jesters).

ii

As Harry has in his native country a history of blundering (google “Harry the Nazi”), I think it relevant to stress that his calling American First Amendment “bonkers” is not one more blunder according to British royalty’s etiquette but on the contrary full compliance with it.

The extraordinary sequence of the British government claiming lese-majeste laws void and then retracting, claiming to have repealed them and then denying, is the (one may say comical) confirmation that deep within these people see no wrong in punishing speech with life imprisonment.

The appalling statute, worse than the classic example of Thai monarchy (where offensive speech about the King is punishable with a maximum of 15 years imprisonment, compared to 3 years for the Sultan of Brunei), and whose status is at best uncertain, that is, of which nobody can say it is not part of British law any longer because British lawmakers won’t make such a declaration without denying it at once, is among other things what shapes Prince Harry’s animus.

iii

Now, that “Department wrongly announced” the repeal of the lese-majeste law is big lese-majeste, if you ask me, and should be punished with hanging because if they haven’t hanged people for a while it must be due to some misunderstanding.

*

None of Your Business

The US will join the “Christchurch Call” to eliminate extremist content online. (May 2021)

“New Zealand man jailed for 21 months for sharing Christchurch shooting video.” (BBC News, June 2019)

Making it a crime to share this video amounts to claiming that the government must be the only source of truth. The only source of truth will be at the same time the agency that restricts access to evidence.

Under a constitutional regime the government can make no claim to be an authority as to what the truth is. Hence, by restricting access to evidence it overrides its constitutional function and mocks constitutional liberties.

Here is how the government proceeds. You learn what happened in Christchurch and then the government tells you that, given what happened in Christchurch, they are going to carry out a set of policies that will curtail your fundamental liberties for the sake of peace and order. Then, when one citizen says “Okay, so let’s see what happened in Christchurch” and makes the video of the shooting available online, he’s punished with 21 months imprisonment for inciting violence (or whatever fallacy they used).

Thus, what happened in Christchurch is none of your business even though based on this particular event you are going to lose big in terms of freedom, or more simply you are going to lose your freedom. – What happened in Christchurch is the governement’s business and you have no right to ask for evidence. “The only source of truth will be at the same time the agency that restricts access to evidence.”

*

Axiom

Independent judges versus employees of the king. In the common law tradition, judges are fully independent. In the civil law tradition, judges are no more than employees of the king. They are strictly monitored by higher courts, which are in turn monitored in a remarkable extent by the central government.” (Gerrit De Geest, American Law: A Comparative Primer, 2020)

It should be stressed that this describes, as far as the civil law tradition is concerned, police states, because the state is entirely absorbed in the government. The axiom is therefore that civil law countries are police states.

ii

“the French, with their centuries-long tradition of presenting case law as pure interpretations of codified law.” (De Geest, 2020, p. 64)

Granting it is true of the judicial judge, it is not so with the administrative judge, which has originated much of the administrative law in France, whole parts of which are judge-made (« droit d’origine jurisprudentielle »). – The political cartel is fond of leaving to the judge all lawmaking that crushes individuals under the boot of the police state.

De Geest is excusable, however, from a common law viewpoint, for overlooking that the administrative judge is a judge at all: “Believe it or not, the Conseil d’État, that is, the French supreme court for administrative law, belongs to the executive branch, not the judicial branch!” p. 86)

It’s not about believing and joking but about what common law countries do to bring police states to reason.

*

“A plea bargain in a criminal case is the equivalent of a settlement in a civil case.” (Gerrit De Geest, American Law: A Comparative Primer, 2020, p. 70)

No. Plea bargaining is a modality of prosecution, not its eschewing. It has nothing to do with the debate on compulsory prosecution vs. principle of opportunity, and by the way De Geest wrongly associates compulsory prosecution with the civil law tradition; in major civil law countries such as France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the principle of opportunity obtains.