By Stephen Nodine
Although the charges are different, the prosecution of President Trump evokes flashbacks of my wrongful prosecution for murder in the suicide of Angel Downs in 2010. The President has been under wrongful prosecution since his election in 2016 by almost 300 lawyers currently in Congress and no fewer than 70 former lawyers or prosecutors in the Senate!
Democracy cannot survive this continued onslaught of wrongful prosecutions of political leaders. It matters not if it’s a conspiracy for drug charges against a young black man, a murder charge against a white politician, or a phone call made by the President of the United States. We have allowed our democracy to profit and prosecute our political opponents. This will be the death of Democracy.
When I served in Federal Prison for a trumped-up gun charge, a legal, registered, secured firearm at my home while “testing positive” for marijuana (USC 922(g)(3), Conrad Black wrote about my case in an article titled “You Call This Justice? How America Became a Prosecutocracy” (Huffington Post, July 18, 2013). Quin Hillyer also wrote extensively about the abuse of justice in my case in the article “Was Nodine’s case a case of prosecutorial overreach? (Insight)” (Al.com, March 18, 2012). Little did I know, America would attempt the same thing with President Trump.
My case is familiar to Gulf Coast residents and gained national notoriety after airing on CBS’s “48 Hours: Power and Passion.” There was nonstop coverage, similar to the Impeachment of President Trump. It is a tragic story. Thankfully though, after 10 years, most of the investigators have had the courage to come forward and exonerate me, yet the damage still remains.
As in President Trump’s case, there was a steady drip of misinformation by the media, including tweeting from the courtroom (allowed by Judge Partin, who actually made the statement, “I don’t even know what tweeting is”). The Judge did not realize the level of damage and misinformation given to potential jury pools by reporters disseminating hearsay testimony by publishing what was said in and out of the courtroom.
When you are on trial for murder and the prosecutor (Newcomb) states in a press conference, “… What appears to be blood was found on his truck,” although investigators had already informed her that NO blood was found on my truck, my clothes, or any part of me, the chances of a “fair trial” are gone.
President Trump is also subjected to wrongful prosecution. The Democrats and Impeachment Managers like Adam Shiff, one of the 300 lawyers previously mentioned, have blocked his quest for a “fair trial.” This in no way resembles what Alexis de Tocqueville had in mind when he was instrumental in the development of American democracy. We have too many lawyers and former prosecutors in our elective bodies. The purpose of democracy is to strike a deal, work a compromise. Despite this wrongful impeachment, President Trump continues to make tremendous strides in making America Great. Criminal Justice Reform is desperately needed now; Prosecution Reform should be next. We must stop “over-prosecuting” America, no matter the driving political party, or it will destroy our democracy.
As of today, Ambassador Bolton’s book draft has come out, an obvious attempt to undercut the President’s legal defense similar to the day Sheriff Hoss Mack held a press conference on my case and stated, “We may have video footage of the murder of Angel Downs,” although in full knowledge that the video system had been inoperable for six months. Potential jurors heard what he said instead of what was true. Nancy Pelosi stated with obvious glee that once President Trump is impeached, “he’s impeached forever.” National media commentators have said that “President Trump has blood on his hands from the deaths of Ukrainians,” although he continues to fight Russia’s aggression more than any Democrat in Congress.
Despite my innocence, I will always be remembered for my wrongful prosecution and the tragic suicide of Angel Downs. When you are a public figure, society only remembers the negatives; never the good deeds. Let us not allow all the GOOD that our President has accomplished to be overshadowed by this wrongful impeachment.
Stephen Nodine is a former Mobile County Commissioner and City Council member from Mobile, Alabama. He is a U.S. Army veteran and is currently residing in Mobile. He is also the founder of facebook.com/FormerFelonsForTrump2020. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-654-6536.
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