Famous shoe-wagger Mayor Sheila Dixon may have slipped the grasp of State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh based on one of the most backward precedents our country has. Legislative Immunity stands for the principle that a legislator may not be civilly or criminally liable for speech, actions, or votes related to or contained within the duties of a legislator. Most people can agree with this principle on its face. You don't want your representative to be worried about being civilly liable for voting for playgrounds, roads, etc. where people may get hurt.
The problem is that Judge Sweeney, retired Howard County Circuit Court judge, has held that a legislators actions may not be used as evidence of bribery in a criminal trial. If you boil away all of the legal mumbo jumbo, this means it is near impossible to convict someone of being bribed, however you may easily convict the briber. Seeing as the politician has a much larger potential and capacity for being bribed than the briber (who is of limited purpose and means), this legal precedent is a travesty.
Everyone rails against the political fundraising issues in our country. Local politicians end up holding $250 a plate fundraisers that end up giving them more money than they'll ever need in a county election. This is because any quid pro quo relationship that may develop is completely immune from investigation or prosecution. I am not suggesting that all large donations can be traced directly to political action, but the environment is furtile for such abuse, and I think we can all agree that this abuse is prevalent.
In light of judicial decisions such as these, the burden is incumbent on all of us as voters to box out politicians that abuse the immunities that they are allowed. Judge Sweeney did not rule that Mayor Dixon is unaccountable. He simply ruled that she was not criminally accountable. Let's start using our vote to take their jobs away. We'll see if they still have the "support" of developers then.