Tuesday, October 16, 2018

"A dangerously racist view that has no place in the law"

"There is no reason to suspect that persons of a particular race are more likely to agree to commit a stash house robbery unless one believes that persons of that race are inherently more prone to committing violent crime for profit—a dangerously racist view that has no place in the law."

So wrote Ninth Circuit Judge Nguyen earlier this week, concurring in a ruling (also authored by Judge Nguyen) holding that the nearly impossible Armstrong standard for obtaining discovery on a claim of selective prosecution does not apply to a claim of selective enforcement, at least not in stash-house reverse-sting cases, and not in this case, where the agent in charge testified that out of the 60 stash-house stings he had conducted that resulted in indictments, more than 55 of the defendants were people of color.

The case is United States v. Sellers, and it is a must-read both on the question of what it takes to make a selective-enforcement discovery request and the problems with stash-house stings.

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