‘Criminal Justice Reform’ Is Leftist Code for Punishing Conservatives

I have often heard folk tales about how the Left used to be skeptical of state power. 

To a small extent, it still is. But only when the person in the defendant’s chair isn’t considered a political enemy. 

After quite clearly acting in self-defense, Kyle Rittenhouse has been dragged through a sham trial. A regular kangaroo court has been in session in Kenosha County, Wisconsin for weeks. The ringleader of the circus is a state prosecutor called Thomas Binger, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the character Donkey from the “Shrek” films, and perhaps luckily for Rittenhouse, has a lower IQ. 

He is, however, the archetype of a greasy lawyer. It’s as if he was booked for the gig by Central Casting. 

After opening his cross examination of Rittenhouse with a line of questioning about his post-arrest silence, Binger nearly blew the case. A criminal defendant has a Fifth Amendment right to silence, and implying guilt from that silence is, in layman’s terms, a big no-no. Hell, I dropped out of law school, and even I know that. 

Binger knows that, too. He’s an experienced prosecutor. That fact wasn’t lost on Judge Bruce Schroeder, who stopped the trial to loudly admonish Binger for intentionally skirting ethical guidelines. 

Later the same day, Binger attempted a line of questioning on a subject that had been ruled out-of-bounds before the trial began. Again Schroeder paused the trial for a tirade against Binger, and for a brief moment, became so angry that another homicide in Kenosha seemed imminent. 

On and on, this type of behavior continued. For Binger, jailing Rittenhouse seemed downright personal. 

Meanwhile, the Left cheered. 

CNN’s chief Zoom masturbator and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin suggested that everyone involved with the trial was racist, wondering what the outcome would be “if the defendant were a Black seventeen year old from another state who killed two people with an illegal assault weapon?” (Kenosha, it should be noted, is 20 minutes from Rittenhouse’s home in Antioch, Illinois. His father and several other relatives live in Kenosha). 

And what about that “illegal assault rifle?” 

Binger argued for the entire trial that Rittenhouse was in illegal possession of a firearm on August 25, 2020, an extension of the left-wing punditry’s sensational assertion. That isn’t remotely true, however. There is no law in Wisconsin barring 17-year-olds from carrying rifles, despite what CNN’s legal “experts” and Kenosha’s prosecutors may wish were the case. The charge shouldn’t have been brought in the first place. It was dropped before closing arguments on Friday. 

But the Left kept cheering. 

Judge Schroeder was, at times, openly skeptical of the prosecution. That is supposed to be the norm. The state bears the burden of proof that the defendant is guilty. As Rittenhouse sat in that courtroom, he was presumed innocent of any crime. 

Dean Strang, the attorney for Steven Avery of “Making a Murderer” fame, eloquently noted that the state is supposed to start each prosecution swimming upstream against the current that is the presumption of innocence. (Incidentally, Avery’s trial is another infamous Wisconsin criminal justice railroading). 

But Schroeder’s skepticism of the state was totally unacceptable to the Left. 

“Judge Schroeder has proven himself to be both incompetent and blatantly biased,” Independent columnist Ahmed Baba said

Baba is not a lawyer, and neither am I. But I found Schroeder to be quite competent, every now and then pausing to give both parties a folksy lesson in Wisconsin law, citing decades-old case law from memory. 

The Rittenhouse trial has done wonders to expose the Left’s true agenda for what it calls “criminal justice reform.” 

Left-wing activist groups do everything in their power to keep illegal aliens from deportation—even ones who have committed other crimes on American soil in addition to crossing the border illegally in the first place. 

They want to end bail completely, even for violent alleged criminals. Some groups exist solely to pay the bail of those violent alleged criminals. 

That “reformist” ideal played out exactly how one might expect in 2019, when the St. Louis Bail Project, a left-wing nonprofit, paid $5,000 to bail out an accused domestic abuser named Samuel Lee Scott. Scott immediately returned home and murdered his wife

The Left wants to end mandatory minimum sentences, the death penalty, and other sentencing practices that are meant to deter crime. 

In some cities, left-wing prosecutors have already stopped prosecuting property crimes such as shoplifting. That policy is in effect in San Francisco. Walgreens has already closed 22 stores in the city. Viral videos show San Francisco’s thieves casually walking into stores and wiping the shelves clean, without a worry in the world. 

The same left-wingers defend lawless rioters in our streets. Binger himself did it during the Rittenhouse trial. 

He called Gaige Grosskreutz, a rioter (and as some have noted, the second-place finalist in Kenosha’s 2020 quick-draw competition) who had his bicep vaporized after pulling a gun on Rittenhouse, a “hero.” Unlike Rittenhouse, Grosskreutz was actually in illegal possession of a firearm that night. He is also a convicted felon with a long rap sheet. 

It couldn’t be clearer. But for its political allies, the Left doesn’t care about “criminal justice reform.” It wants its dangerous, lawless thugs walking the streets with impunity, but if your politics lean to the right of Stalin, it wants to throw the book at you—even while you’re defending yourself from its dangerous, lawless thugs. 

The rot pervades all the way up to the top of the Department of Injustice. 

While Rittenhouse sat in court, Steve Bannon was charged with and booked for contempt of Congress after ignoring a subpoena from the “January 6th Commission,” which is investigating the events of that day. Never mind that Congress isn’t a law enforcement body, and its investigative powers—to the extent it has them—are only implied in the Constitution. 

And while we’re on the subject of January 6, what about those mostly peaceful protestors rotting in D.C. jails, held without bail for such crimes as “parading” in the Capitol, trespassing, or the bogus charge of obstructing a congressional proceeding, which had never been levied against any American citizen before January 6? Where is the chorus of “criminal justice reform” nitwits on those cases? 

By the way, former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress In 2012. So was former IRS official Lois Lerner, a few years later. Both were officials of the Obama Administration. Neither was prosecuted by the Justice Department.  

It couldn’t be clearer. If you’re politically on the Right in America, you can no longer count on equal justice under the law. If you’re on the Left, you can count on politicians, nonprofits, and the criminal justice system itself to do everything in its power to keep you out of jail. 

With that, I rest my case. 

About Peter D'Abrosca

Peter D'Abrosca is a conservative campaign strategist, author, and columnist. A proud law school dropout, he is not a decorated member of the fancy credentialed class, and that's just the way he prefers it. He considers himself a political outsider who seeks to give a voice to the long-forgotten American working class.

Photo: Sean Krajacic-Pool/Getty Images

Support Free & Independent Journalism Your support helps protect our independence so that American Greatness can keep delivering top-quality, independent journalism that's free to everyone. Every contribution, however big or small, helps secure our future. If you can, please consider a recurring monthly donation.

Want news updates?

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.