Today, the mayor of our largest city--the one by which Michigan gets much of its identity beyond the borders, the metropolis that so often is used by its supporters as instrumental to the State's success, the city so full of great history--was charged with multiple counts of violating the law, including felonies punishable by 15 years imprisonment. The defendant/s have a presumption of innocence. Since the investigation has, according to the prosecutor, been impeded, today's event is not necessarily the final shoe to drop. A sad day in Michigan history in many ways.
At the same time, as the prosecutor said, it would have been "a sadder day to ignore true justice." Her remarks explaining the decision to charge should be used in every 1L first-day class to instruct on the fundamental basis upon which our American system of justice is based. The justice system is now responsible for guilt or innocence.
Prior to today, cynics believed the prosecutor would not charge because politically it would be better for her. Others claimed she would charge because politically she had to; indeed, the deputy mayor said this morning it would be political if she did charge. In this environment, it's refreshing that she went forward based on what she felt was integral to maintaining and upholding the administration of justice, rather than to take the easy way out.
To be sure, any shame is neither Detroit's nor Michigan's. It is personal to those who have been charged. If convicted, more than dishonor will be involved. Honor belongs to public officials who have sought to uphold the sanctity of their oaths of office. And for that demonstration of integrity, all of this State can be grateful and proud.
"Time sets all things right. Error lives but a day. Truth is eternal." -- James Longstreet, Southern Historical Society Papers, Vol. V., No. 6, Richmond, Va., June, 1878, p. 270