I exchanged some email earlier today with Scott Horton over at Stress blog. Here’s his writeup:
What the Hell is a “Person of Interest”?
I first heard the phrase used by John Ashcroft in his wild unfounded accusations against Steven Hatfill in the anthrax case and here and there a couple of times since.
Now Thursday’s New York Times quotes a California criminal investigator as saying that they have a “person of interest” in custody in the case of the arson fire set out there which killed some fire-fighters.
When I get stuck on things like this, I usually turn to senior Stress blog legal correspondent, James Bovard.
Me: James, help me out here buddy, “person of interest” is just a made up term that doesn’t exist anywhere in law, am I right?
James Bovard: I think the technical translation is this: “Someone who the government wants to fuck with but doesn’t have enough evidence to indict.”
After Scott blogged on our exchange, I chucked in my two cents on his riff:
Jim Bovard Says:
November 1st, 2006 at 10:02 pm
My law degree is worth every cent of the $49.99 I paid for it.
But I think I got ripped off – they charged $30 for the wooden frame for the diploma that Wal-Mart sells for $8. (Shipping and handling were included, though).