A recent Houston Chronicle story details the plight of Scott Yeager. In 2002 Scott was indicted in the wake of the downfall of Enron, where he worked up until the company’s demise.
Scott’s message is pretty simple, direct, and no-nonsense: you don’t have to be guilty to have the government ruin your life. Quotes like this from the article say it all:
[H]e’s had his civil rights curtailed—not allowed to own a gun or visit his grandson in Canada, required most months to report to the federal probation department.
“They shouldn’t be allowed to destroy your life. People need to understand there is no down side for them,” he said of the prosecutors who filed the Enron cases.
“I was told I might get five years if I would make up lies about people or I could fight this and to go prison for life if I lose,” Yeager said.
and perhaps most damning of all:
“I don’t know … your upbringing, your sense of justice, honesty. It was counter to what I was taught my whole life. I’m an American patriot. This is my country,” Yeager said.
He said he knew the odds were against him but he refused to lie to get a deal.
Despite some of my prior life experiences, I have little sympathy for those who have committed egreious crimes, such as most of those who participated in the fraud surrounding the now-defunct Enron Corporation. However, at the same time, it disgusts me that just being accused of a crime is enough to ruin someone’s life the way Scott’s has been ruined.
There should be some way to hold prosecutors accountable for proceeding this far with cases that wind up not having merit. Otherwise, they’ll continue to wreck lives that don’t deserve it. The unjustly accused deserve more than a “sorry, we screwed up, you’re free to go now.”
I don’t care what anyone else says. Mark my words: Scott Yeager is a hero for those who face unjust accusations by a so-called “justice system” which often fails to dispense justice and sometimes isn’t much of a system.