Monday, February 15, 2010

On the Free Exercise of a Defendant's Rights Without Any Fear of Retaliation By the State

Christopher Jon Bjerknes

In America, a defendant charged with a crime is free to exercise his rights without any fear that the State will retaliate against him by filing additional and/or more serious charges against him. Should the defendant exercise a right, such as filing a motion to dismiss, and the State then subsequently files additional and/or more serious charges against the defendant, then the State will be guilty of illegal "vindictive prosecution" and all the charges must be dismissed due to the violation of the defendant's due process right to exercise all of his rights without fear of retaliation by the State.

This is a fundamental principle of law, for when the exercise of one's rights carries with it the threat of retaliation, then there are no rights, only invitations to disaster.