Hey Susan Knox: Do You Think It's Funny NOW?

Law

Chickens come home to roost, and little piggies eventually come back to — I don't know. Wallow?

My point is that, sometimes, good triumphs over evil, and rights triumph over rights-violators. That occasional taste of sweet victory keeps the good guys up for the ongoing fight.

Today's example are two little piggies named Junius Peake and Susan Knox.

I wrote about them before, twice. In brief: Junius Peake was a professor at University of Northern Colorado. Student Thomas Mink wrote what was obviously, overtly, clearly, inarguably a parody (and, frankly, a rather mild and inoffensive one) about Professor Peake in a publication called The Howling Pig. Junius Peake reacted not like an adult, not as a university professor should, but like a loser. Junius Peake called the cops. And Deputy District Attorney Susan Knox, showing either wanton malice or a shocking lack or ethics, perspective, and mental ability, approved a search warrant for Thomas Mink's home on the theory that a university student's obvious satire constituted "criminal libel." Thomas Mink sued. Susan Knox repeatedly lost in the appellate court.

Now the last little piggie run weeee, weeee, weeeeee all the way home. As reported by The Fire, the Student Press Law Center, and the ACLU, Susan Knox (who, fortunately, is no longer a prosecutor [edit: see below]) has coughed up $425,000 rather than risk a third smackdown by the Tenth Circuit.

This is a gigantic victory. Rogue prosecutors, as a rule, escape without consequences when they violate even the most clearly defined constitutional rights. That's why the rare cases in which rogue prosecutors do face consequences are so sweet.

Congrats to Thomas Mink and his lawyers. Fighting prosecutorial miscreants can take many years, as in this case. But if we want the system to change, we need to be ready to chase bad actors like Susan Knox to the very gates of Hell.

Edited to add: in the comments, someone points out that she may be an AUSA now. CRAP.

Last 5 posts by Ken White

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Uppercase Matt  •  Dec 13, 2011 @10:47 am
  2. Dan Weber  •  Dec 13, 2011 @10:50 am

    Hey Susan Knox: Do You Think It’s Funny NOW?

    Well, I think it's freaking hilarious now!

    I could feel the endorphins flooding my brain from reading this post.

  3. Ken  •  Dec 13, 2011 @10:51 am

    DAMMIT MATT YOU HARSHED MY MELLOW!

  4. Dan Weber  •  Dec 13, 2011 @10:59 am

    I have crashed so hard. :(

  5. W. Ian Blanton  •  Dec 13, 2011 @11:05 am

    At least she appears to be on the "Drug Task Force", which means her penchant for unnecessary/excessive response search warrants will probably fit right in, right?

  6. Dwight Brown  •  Dec 13, 2011 @2:13 pm

    "Susan Knox has coughed up $425,000"

    This isn't clear to me from reading the link to The Fire, but maybe I'm just not too bright: is Susan Knox actually coughing up $425,000 out of her own pocket? Or out of the pocket of her professional liability insurer? Or is this $425,000 coming out of the pockets of Colorado taxpayers?

  7. LTMG  •  Dec 13, 2011 @3:51 pm

    A big hurrah for the good guys!

  8. O.H. Krill  •  Dec 14, 2011 @8:34 am

    Dwight,

    I highly doubt a deputy DA has that kind of cash on hand. I would imagine that the settlement came out of either a professional liability insurer, for which the state paid premiums, or from the taxpayers.

  9. mojo  •  Dec 15, 2011 @11:32 am

    AUSA, huh?

    Failing upwards.