Dick Baynton

Dear Friends: It is time for us to have a discussion about something that should be at the top of the political, government and judicial agendas. We are in serious trouble in our great USA because we have been, are now doing but must stop the practice of ‘selective justice.’ What prompted this column was (is) the arrest of Jeffrey Epstein who is looked upon as a billionaire. A person worth one billion dollars will earn $50 million annually if that $1 billion is invested at 5%.

Mr. Epstein is rich but nobody seems to know the source or precise value of his wealth. What is known is that he owns a 40-room, 7-story ‘Herbert Straus Mansion’ on 71st Street in Manhattan, ‘Little St. James’ in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a Palm Beach, Florida mansion said to be worth almost $7 million and a 7,500 acre ranch in New Mexico with a 26,700 sq.ft. mansion called the Zorro Ranch worth about $18 million. Mr. Epstein also owns a 727 Boeing aircraft and an assortment of expensive cars.

In 2008 Epstein was found guilty of underage sex crimes and sentenced to 13 months in prison. Prison officials allowed Mr. Epstein to have 12 hours off daily to do whatever he wanted to do.  Mysteries surrounding Jeffrey Epstein are where he got his unknown amount of wealth and his motives for participation in sex trafficking and other wicked activities. Recently it was determined that he was using his NYC mansion in some of his illicit activities and was arrested upon his return from France a few days ago.

Mr. Epstein is being held in NYC without bail; however his attorneys have offered $77 million as security for releasing him until trial. Authorities should remember that net worth is not the currency of crime and punishment; irrefutable evidence is used by prosecution to lead a judge and jury to appropriate consequences. The prosecution’s job is to assure that when all the evidence has been presented, the jury has voted and the judge has certified guilt or innocence that the defendant(s) must accept whatever punishment is meted out.

Thursday evening July 11th, R. Kelly was arrested in Chicago; the reason is federal grand jury indictments in both Illinois and New York. The indictments include recruiting women for sex, concealing evidence, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, forced labor and Mann act violations. R. Kelly is a musician and allegedly the head of ‘The Enterprise’ an un-registered and probably illicit organization that consists of himself, managers, bodyguards, drivers, personal assistants and members of his entourage who arrange for travel and acquisition of women and girls. At the time he was picked up Thursday evening, he was free on a $1 million bond since February.

In the Epstein case, the federal prosecutor in Florida in 2008 has resigned as Secretary of Labor in the Trump cabinet. We are left to wonder what could influence a federal prosecutor to incarcerate such a villain as Jeffrey Epstein for just 13 months. Has Epstein’s associations with Trump, Clinton and other luminaries exempted him from justifiable punishment?

In the case of R. Kelly, his violations began in 2001and we are just now hauling him before the courts of justice? Epstein’s illicit activities date back to 2002 and 2005 when he was bringing underage girls to his mansions in New York and Florida; he was instigating ‘Lolita Flights’ to his U.S. Virgin Islands compound where ‘special guests’ had their picks of 14-year-old girls.

Hillary Clinton when leaving her job as Secretary of State has never even suffered a tap on the wrist for her illegally destroying over 30,000 E-mails and destruction of electronic devices, all felonies according to authorities. Friendly investigators exonerated her from responsibility regarding the four murders at Benghazi in 2012.

Here’s the dilemma; if we continue down this road of scandal, corruption, malfeasance and deliberate cover-up of criminal behavior in our government and private industry our nation will devour itself with greed, conflict and mayhem; we could become another Venezuela. Cemeteries around the world are filled with the remains of men and women who died for respect, esteem and virtue with liberty and justice for all. Let not these opportunities for rectification pass.