The Art Of Prosecuting The Innocent

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Nothing is more loathsome than a prosecutor who knowingly pursues an innocent person for a crime he did not do, yet this practice happens on a daily basis. Even more despicable is when that same prosecutor does everything in his power to destroy a person for pleading innocent and trying to mount a defense, yet this, too, happens almost daily.

Should you ever be charged with a crime you did not do, prepare for a fight. Bud Sonnentag of Nye County, Nev., a Vietnam War hero, found out firsthand that if you don’t take a plea deal and you fight for your innocence, the prosecutors take it personally. Sonnentag said, “At every turn, there were the prosecutors stacking charges if I didn’t comply to their wishes.”

Stacking charges is a method prosecutors use to achieve a plea deal. For instance, if you were charged with “jaywalking” and you plead innocent, the prosecutors just might add disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace and evading arrest (if you walked away and the citing officer had to chase you down to get your attention). They do this to get you to plead guilty to any level of a crime so that their conviction statistics remain intact so they can continue to be funded by the public.

What do you do to protect yourself from prosecutors if you are innocent? Like Sonnentag, who hired the US~Observer, take your case public and be as loud as you can be. Make sure everyone knows you are innocent and you are being wrongfully and, in cases where the prosecution knows you are innocent, maliciously prosecuted.

In Sonnentag’s case, the prosecution told the US~Observer they would drop the charges if the paper would stop publishing articles putting the district attorney’s office in a negative light. The US~Observer did stop publishing for a specified period of time. But when the prosecution refused to drop the charges, the paper published again, exposing the agreement to not publish.

In the end, Sonnentag was vindicated. At the height of the charges, he had faced two life-term punishable felonies. He never backed down, and neither did the US~Observer. That is how you throw a wrench into the art of prosecuting the innocent: Rub their face in it.

Read about the Sonnentag case and what happened to the Nye County DA here and here.

– Ron Lee

Stephen Leeb

has analyzed and identified macro-economic trends for more than three decades. He is a recognized authority on the stock market and commodities, especially oil and precious metals. He is often credited as the first to foresee market-changing events, and predicted the spiraling costs of oil well before others. Dr. Leeb has authored seven books, including the New York Times Bestselling Business Books, The Coming Economic Collapse: How You Can Thrive When Oil Costs $200 a Barrel (2006), Game Over: How You Can Prosper in a Shattered Economy (2009), and the forthcoming Red Alert: How China's Growing Prosperity Threatens the American Way of Life (2011). He is also a frequent contributor to 'Fox Business News,' Bloomberg, ABC, and CNN.He serves as Head of the Advisory Board for Leor Exploration & Production, LLC, as an Advisory Board member of Electrum USA Ltd., one of the world's largest privately held gold exploration companies, and in the same capacity for Sunshine Silver Mines Corp., a privately held silver exploration company. Dr. Leeb received his bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. He then earned his master's degree in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Illinois in just three years, an academic record that still stands.

  • trp878

    Oh how true this story is. Been there, seen it. Many prosecutors and D.A.’s are so corrupt and their only aim is to rack up numbers for their political gain. I say charge them and put them in jail, disbar them. But knowing the Bar Association, they poo poo any complaints or evidence against their own. After all they are like politicians they cover themselves and their own.

  • O’Calorie

    I too, know first hand of wrongful charges. After $80,000, two lawyers dropping us because we would not secure our home to them, we defend ourselves as pro per. I told my son, “Who knows this case better than you?” We crammed the court system with motion after motion to secure our legal and constitutional rights with state and federal laws and rulings from state, district, and US Supreme court.

    We had five trial dates which was cancelled by the prosecutor and we motioned eight times to have a copy of the CPS report, which the judge ruled in our favor each time. We finally received it 18 months later and the prosecutor tried to block it from being used in court for our defense. The information was in our favor.

    While waiting for a hearing to begin, there was about 15 lawyers that I over heard bragging about the commission that they received from getting the prisoners to take a plea instead of going to trial. This is where they make their money and gain their power through the backs of the poor, honest, and innocent. They are taught in school not to have a conscience or heart. After over two years the judge told them they didn’t have a case and they dropped it against my son.

    The work, worry, and pain that was caused by these people can never be compensated, but the lost of my retirement was worth having my son back.

  • PTripp

    Welcome to the real world. I’ve been there twice. Both were ‘multiple felonies’ with a cadre of misdemeanors tacked on. I refused plea deals both times and in one case the charges were never filed though I spent 22 days in jail. The second time all charges were dropped before arraignment and I spent 17 days in jail. It never even got looked at by a judge. Unless you have tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and a few years to devote to it you just have to roll with the punches and move on with your life, and find a new job.

  • Wellarmed

    Well written article Mr. Lee. I do think that this is much more prevalent (wrongful prosecution) than most people believe. I also read your article about Mr. Sonnentags case, and am shocked that these corrupt individuals have not faced Federal charges.

    What I find incredibly disturbing is that the corruption in his case (Mr. Sonnentag) extended far beyond the magistrate level. You know that you are in serious trouble when even a change of venue would not have brought any greater light to his case than having the trial in his corrupt home district.

    It does make me think twice about visiting Nevada if you are no more protected than vacationing in Mexico. I hope that some one has followed through on the Federal Level to seek indictments of those who perpetuated these injustices, but based on what we are currently witnessing at the DOJ right now, I would say that the chances of that happening are slim to none.

    Thank you Mr. Lee for the service to your country. I wish there were more like you out there!

  • johnd

    To make the legal system fair all lawyers should be put in a pool. The defendant would pick from this pool and the lawyer would be paid by the state, same as the district attorney. No longer would the rich have a different set of laws because they could afford a better attorney. If the state had to pay for both sides of the cases this frivolous crap would stop. Lawyers would receive the same pay as the D.A. Bad lawyers would drop out because they wouldn’t get picked and have to get a real job. Good lawyers would work just as hard or harder so that they would get picked.

  • JRJ21

    There comes a time when the people need to rise up and kill these damn vultures.