July 24, 2006

WA: hotter than 10,000 suns

Greetings from Richland, WA, from the people who brought you the atom bomb, where yesterday it was 112 degrees. Yes, in the shade.

Next door is Kennewick, WA, home of the famous "Kennewick Man" and the somewhat less well-known "Kennewick Prosecutor." From NPR:

Buying Leniency: Small-Scale and Widespread

In the criminal courts of Kennewick and Richland, in eastern Washington, people arrested for offenses such as drunk driving could routinely get a lenient sentence by contributing money to prosecutors' favorite charities. The practice came under criticism recently when money donated in Kennewick, Wash., went missing.

But similar arrangements may be widespread; a prominent defense lawyer... calls it the "dirty little secret" of criminal courts in America...

Here at the northwesternmost reach of Zion, you can sense palpably the shift into a different cultural orbit. In a few minutes I'm off to cross the Idaho frontier, for which I've been preparing myself mentally, spiritually, and passive-aggressively. A happy Pioneer Day to those of my legal colleagues who might be celebrating the Days of '47 today.