Sunday, June 20, 2010

Justice, Italian-style, and the punishment of the decisive 

From my very learned and interesting Facebook scroll, this news from Italy, where prosecutors have indicted scientists for manslaughter for having failed to predict an earthquake.

As my FB friend points out, Italian meteorologists had better look out. First they came for the geologists...

It seems to me that democracy is not quite so good for justice as one might have supposed. Prosecutors are politicians, and have learned to take their incentive compensation in headlines, rather than money. It is leading to the criminalization of ordinary course but high profile decisions that turn out badly in retrospect, whether in business, finance, politics, charity, and so forth. Prosecutorial zeal and its private counterpart here in the United States, the tort lawyer armed with expansive interpretations of the common law, are making people justifiably reluctant to make difficult decisions, just when we need more such people.

My solution: Substantially increase the pay of prosecutors and thereby attract top people to the job, but bar them from running for elective office or accepting a non-prosecutorial political appointment for ten years after they stop being prosecutors. Pay them in money and satisfaction in a job well done, not celebrity, and they will spend their time going after actual criminals.


By Blogger Progressively Defensive, at Sun Jun 20, 01:14:00 PM:

Helen Thomas: I see as the interview in question continued, she explained that she was Arabic (in part). I just wonder who amongst us were we Arabic, especially descended from Arabs living in - that area - since 1850 and before would not legitimately feel exactly the same. For them the Jews immigrating there since 1850 are invaders; no question.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Jun 20, 06:40:00 PM:

Just like Mexicans immigrating to the United States since 1846 are invaders.

No question, right?  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Sun Jun 20, 07:02:00 PM:

BTW, WTF does this have to do with Italian prosecutions? Can you just not help yourself?  

By Anonymous Boludo Tejano, at Sun Jun 20, 10:02:00 PM:

Certainly supports the POV that the best Italian government is a weak government.  

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