>If Ortiz or Heymann are fired or resign under pressure, the only signal that really sends to other prosecutors is that mob justice is effective for those with a mob at their backs.
It is this kind of argument that seeks to undermine the call to action mentioned in the (rather brilliant) grandpost. Unfortunately, it is often the case that if any action at all is to take place, it must be drastic. Subtle actions tend to fall apart.
Perhaps Ortiz's career will be ruined by this. Let us say that's unfair. But what if that outcome leads directly to a change in the entire system? What if, because she lost her job, prosecutors no longer bully defendants into taking bad plea deals by throwing the book at them because we made Ortiz into an example? Would that be worth it?
I don't care if Ortiz suffers an unjust end to her career. She'll still be alive. And I'm not suggesting the problem is that the action is too drastic. It's that the action sends the wrong message. The most likely outcome of Ortiz getting fired is that prosecutors are more cautious about bullying the well-connected; they'll judge each defendant on the likelihood of their martyrdom and act accordingly. It won't make defending oneself against federal charges any more cheap or accessible; it won't make a prosecutor approach you in a measured way. And the less powerful defendants are still going to get screwed--which is to say, those who most need federal prosecutors to treat them reasonably and decently. Firing Ortiz (or, more accurately, Heymann) will just make others more cautious when dealing with the rich and the famous.
Prosecutors bully defendants into taking bad plea deals because they're judged on their conviction rate. People act according to their incentives, and federal prosecutors are incentivized to get quick, cheap convictions the way they do it now. You want change? Change the incentives. Crucifying one out of a hundred doesn't work.
I completely agree with the thought process here, and changing the incentives.
Not sure why you seem so against her losing her position though. As much this is the sort of thing prosecutors do on a regular basis, they shouldn't be. Why is she more infallible than you or I. I don't think her losing her job will send a wave of change through the system, a lot more has to take place in order for any of that to come to fruition. As much as I think people are focusing on the wrong issue here, seeking retribution through ending her career. Her callous attitude toward the case and toward punishments in general has not helped. But even if all prosecutors act the same, this is just a case that opened a lot of eyes to it. Is there no grounds or merit in the thought of letting her go. If I fuck up at my job, I could be on the chopping block to. As much as letting her go will do very little in the grand scheme of things. Leaving her there and doing nothing would also send a message to other prosecutors and to the current angry mob of people.