Actions speak louder than words. Or so it's said.
So let me summarize two recent actions of the Alameda County courts and let you decide what they say about our criminal justice system.
Last week former San Leandro narcotics detective to charges that will allow him to avoid jail in the face of allegations involving and .
You can read the lurid details by following the links above, but I don't think that's necessary.
Quite simply, Fredrikkson was a sworn officer of the law who abused his authority.
Hold that thought.
Last month, a of interfering with two sheriff's department investigators in the performance of their duties. That verdict followed a trial in which an Alameda County prosecutor proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the business owners had been crude, disrespectful and obstreperous.
Again, there's a litany behind that case. Dillman has . He's .
So there's no way to quarrel with the prosecutor who framed the case : "Mr. Dillman is here for one reason and one reason only. Because he has a problem with authority."
So I have posited that Fredriksson abused his authority while stipulating that Dillman defied authority.
How did the system match punishment with crime in each case?
Last week under which Fredriksson will do 30 days work for the sheriff's department but won't spend nights in jail. He'll serve probation, pay some fines and accept other conditions.
Last month to four months behind bars in county jail, a decision that is stayed while the defendant appeals.
Both judges work in the Superior Court in Hayward. Perhaps they'll bump in to one another some day and compare notes on these sentences and what they say about the local justice system.
Likewise, Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley might want to chat with her deputies on each case: Michael Roemer, who negotiated the Fredriksson plea, and Scott Ford, who prosecuted the Dillman trial. Are we focusing on the right wrongs? What signals are we sending? That sort of thing.
What do you think?
Is there a message in this tale of two verdicts?
Please share your views in the comments below.