Black Lives Matter Supporter Defends Segregation at All-Black Celebration
The Department of Justice (DOJ) will end its third-party settlement practice, a controversial prosecutorial tactic critics deride as a scheme to finance the government’s political allies, and resolve cases without judicial oversight.
In a memorandum circulated internally Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the DOJ would no longer ask corporate entities to offer a monetary award to a third party as a condition of avoiding prosecution. He said this settlement method largely serves “to bankroll special interest groups.”
“When the federal government settles a case against a corporate wrongdoer, any settlement funds should go first to the victims and then to the American people — not to bankroll third-party special interest groups or the political friends of whoever is in power,” Sessions said. “Unfortunately, in recent years the Department of Justice has sometimes required or encouraged defendants to make these payments to third parties as a condition of settlement.”
“With this directive, we are ending this practice and ensuring that settlement funds are only used to compensate victims, redress harm, and punish and deter unlawful conduct,” he added.
The practice skews incentives in favor of reaching settlements before indictments are handed down, as the Heritage Foundation’s Paul Larkin, a seasoned veteran of the Justice Department, explained in a 2014 paper. Corporations, he wrote, are eager to avoid indictments because of adverse consequences that attend prosecution, including loss of professional licenses, government contracts, and penalties in capital markets.
Where government is concerned, federal law strictly circumscribes the sanctions prosecutors can assess post-conviction. Therefore, N/DPA’s and third-party settlements give government maximum flexibility in determining penalties, while corporations elude the trouble of indictments — and all absent judicial supervision.
“[T]he N/DPA process effectively inverts the incentive structure otherwise envisioned by the criminal justice system,” Larkin wrote. “Using N/DPAs to resolve a potential criminal case front-loads all of the costs to the corporation because the charge itself can serve as a death sentence, as prosecutors know all too well.”
A monetary award to a third party, usually one tangentially related to the matter, is increasingly typical of these agreements. Though it is difficult to ascertain how much money the department has accrued and distributed through the process, the Economist estimates such settlements ran into the hundreds of billions in 2014 alone, based on publicly available figures.
“We would remind all social media users to think carefully about what they are saying before posting messages online,” the force warns.
“Although you may believe your message is acceptable, other people may take offence, and you could face a large fine or up to two years in prison if your message is deemed to have broken the law.”
The comment quickly attracted swathes of facetious replies.
“Cheshire Police would like to inform you that although they know of 3000 suspected extremists living in the UK currently under investigation including 650 known Jihadi’s [sic] that returned to the country after fighting with ISIS just be aware that they are monitoring Facebook 24 Hours a day, 7 Days a week in case anyone’s feelings get hurt,” wrote one user.
“We would like to remind Cheshire Police to be careful when posting on social media. Although you might feel your message is acceptable, others may take offence. Like, for instance, people who feel that your abject pandering to political correctness only goes to demonstrate that you are part of the problem instead of the solution,” commented another.
The force eventually acknowledged the negative reaction, obliquely, in a follow-up post:
“We can see that this has prompted a lot of discussion and we want to clarify our guidance,” they wrote.
“Whilst we are aware social media is a good platform for discussing issues, there can sometimes come a point that it is no longer a conversation and instead comments can be classed as a form of hate crime.
“Hate crime can be committed when someone uses threatening words or behaviour or publications such as social media, which are intended or likely to encourage hatred towards other people.
“Currently, the law covers the targeting of people in this way on the basis of race/ethnicity, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation. These crimes are about more than just showing hostility to one person, but about stirring up hatred against a whole group of people, regardless of what platform you use.”
“Economic dislocation and demographic changes are fueling discomfort and desperation among white working-class voters,” wrote WashPo columnist and editorial board member Jonathan Capehart, continuing:
While [university professor and author] Justin Gest says that both Republicans and Democrats have exploited these voters, he sees a way forward.
“The only way of addressing their plight is a form of political hospice care,” [Gest] said. “These are communities that are on the paths to death. And the question is: How can we make that as comfortable as possible?”
Capehart declined to answer questions from Breitbart about his statement that “hospice care” for mostly white working-class communities is “a way forward” for the nation. He declined to suggest alternative policies or to suggest which of the progressives’ political goals could be traded to win support for white working-class voters in 2020.
The offer of political elimination to working-class communities has prompted anger even from some left-wing writers, such as Martin Longman at The Washington Monthly.
I’m not saying the whole Democratic Party feels this way, but the default position among a lot of progressives since the election has been that to even talk about these folks is to pander to their racism and dilute the party’s commitment to civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights, and the environment. If we want to draw up our battle lines like that, then they sure as s*** are going to take the hint…
I don’t recognize a [political] left that has no better solution for struggling people than to make their inevitable deaths more comfortable. That’s not just a political loser. It’s an indefensible position to take as human beings. Every single community needs a left that will represent them and that doesn’t mean it will tolerate them or give them just enough to ease the worst of their pain.
Gest responded to Breitbart’s questions by doubling down, saying immigrants can replace American consumers, workers, and children, and also that expert advice will soothe American communities during their government-managed exit:
Declining towns need immigrants to reinvigorate their markets, take on unwanted labor positions, and add youth to aging demographies. Once these communities understood the benefits immigrants bring and were consulted about the terms of their integration, they would feel more comfortable with their arrival.