Civil liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate (a civil liberties lawyer is not the same thing as a civil rights lawyer) has an article called Black and Whitey: How the Feds Disable Criminal Defense.
It's about the prosecutions of newspaper magnate Conrad Black and Boston Irish gangster Whitey Bulger, and notes that when Federal prosecutors really want to get someone, they disable his defense by seizing all his money.
"In both cases, as in countless others, the feds have used certain techniques that virtually assure convictions of both the innocent and the guilty, the wealthy and the poor, the violent drug dealer and the white collar defendant, indifferent to the niceties of “due process of law,” particularly the right to effective assistance of legal counsel. In order to prevent a defendant from retaining a defense team of his choice, federal prosecutors will first freeze his assets, even though a jury has yet to find them to have been illegally obtained. They then bring prosecutions of almost unimaginable complexity, assuring that the financially hobbled defendant’s diminished legal team (or, as is often the case, his court-appointed lawyer) will be too overwhelmed to mount an adequate defense."
In Conrad Black's case, the seizure was totally unjustified. Even if he had been guilty of anything, his personal fortune far exceeded any excess profits the prosecutions claimed he made. Whitey Bulger, by contrast, probably hasn't earned an honest dollar since the 1960s, when he was a janitor and a construction worker.
However, Silverglate's headline reference to "Black and Whitey"(both men are white) reminded me that the only time I ever saw a headline that said "Black Charged With Fraud", it was referring to Conrad Black.
And here's a headline you won't see in the Mainstream Media:
Black Charged With Setting Homeless White Woman On Fire
Dennis Petillo, who is black, is charged with buying some rubbing alcohol at a store, pouring it on an elderly homeless woman who lay sleeping on a bench, and setting her on fire. Here's the headline:
Man Accused Of Setting Homeless Woman On Fire Charged In Attack December 31, 2012 2:00 PM VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — A Van Nuys man has been charged with attempted murder and aggravated mayhem for allegedly setting a homeless woman on fire in the San Fernando Valley.
The suspect, identified by authorities as 24-year-old Dennis Petillo, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court in Van Nuys.
The attack on the victim, identified by residents in the area as “Violet,” occurred about 1 a.m. on Dec. 27.[More]
The YouTube video, by contrast, has this headline:HATE CRIME: Black Male Douses Elderly Homeless White Woman with Rubbing Alcohol and Ignites Her. That shows better news judgement than the professionals have.