But when the passions and appetites are enlisted in the service of Trump—when, like Roger Stone, Trump’s supporters ride roughshod over neighbors by attempting to connect to an espionage cutout such as WikiLeaks in the hopes of swaying a U.S. election—then (and only then!) it becomes appropriate to temper the severity of justice with the sweetness of mercy.
Stone is old. He is odd. His wife is deaf. And on top of everything else, he knows a lot and may be tempted to squeal if sent to prison for the rest of his active life. For all those reasons, Stone deserves the leniency that must never be allowed to those who balk Trump: the Ukraine whistle-blower, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, former FBI Director James Comey, and former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe—all of them prominent on the long, long list of people Trump has accused of treason or espionage and thereby insinuated should receive the death penalty.
As for street criminals? They do not even deserve trials. Trump has urged police to crack their heads on the doors of their squad cars even before they are charged with any crime. Trump’s opponents likewise deserve punishment even if they have never been charged with any offense.