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Hanging's Too Good For Them

He Who Needs No Linkage had two stories posted the other day, back to back, that caught my eye. In the first, a (now former) TSA agent was convicted of stealing five laptop computers and a Sony PlayStation from travelers' bags. He was given three years probation.

In the other story, an IRS agent has been arrested and charged with stealing $160,000 in unclaimed tax refunds from a dozen taxpayers.

In both these cases, the accused was not only a government employee, not only exploiting their power as a government employee, but using their authority to enforce the law to steal from citizens and enrich themselves.

There's a legal term for this kind of crime -- "under color of law" -- and is's woefully underused. There ought to be enhanced penalties for government agents who break the laws they are supposed to be enforcing. Mandatory jail sentences. Restitution plus. Forfeiture of not only all benefits accrued, but of future government benefits.

Our government needs the citizens' trust in order to function. Acts like these two above erode that faith. For that kind of damage, for violation of that level of trust, the penalties must be commensurate.


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Comments (10)

Except that for the fact th... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Except that for the fact that they are members of the 'protected class' and just like the DUI cop that got busted for mowing down a group of motorcyclists in Indy, they'll always skate.

I do believe some of the ac... (Below threshold)
VaGal:

I do believe some of the acts of Congress would also fall under that category.

Geez, if we started holding... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

Geez, if we started holding public servants accountable for their actions, there's no telling where that would stop.

Congress doesn't even have ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Congress doesn't even have to follow the laws they pass for the rest of us; why expect anyone to be "held accountable".

More shovel ready czars for... (Below threshold)
914:

More shovel ready czars for Barrys regime.

"Geez, if we started holdin... (Below threshold)
jim m:

"Geez, if we started holding public servants accountable for their actions, there's no telling where that would stop."

In 1793-1794 the French did that. The Reign of Terror took between 16,000 and 40,000 lives. They were a little excessive in their zeal.

Sadly I don't think anyone ... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Sadly I don't think anyone got the 'Heavy Metal' reference.

Sadly I don't think anyo... (Below threshold)

Sadly I don't think anyone got the 'Heavy Metal' reference.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cq6_Q7gIaBE

"Let the punishment fit the... (Below threshold)
Jon:

"Let the punishment fit the crime."
The TSA agent should get a full-on groping every time he flies.

The IRS Agent should be randomly audited from now on until the end of his life.

Just enforce the existing L... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Just enforce the existing LAWS. Lex Rex. It works "throw the book" at them. We got hundred of thousands of laws charge these guys for ever count and each rule they violated.
If there needs to be one more law borrow it from the UCMJ and change conduct unbecoming to apply to any public servant. In fact let change some things around and just be every public official subject to new version of UCMJ and start to reduce all the other laws. If it good enough for men and women who bleed for this country it should be good enough for the people they serve to protect.




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