With the case gutted by the inability to use the most important item of evidence, prosecutors had only one move left: To dismiss all charges.
Via the Associated Press, that’s what happened today regarding a misdemeanor count of solicitation against Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Once an appeals court ruled that authorities violated the rights of Kraft and others via secretly-installed video cameras, and when prosecutors chose to walk away and/or to run instead of taking a losing argument to the Florida Supreme Court, dismissal became inevitable.
Prosecutors opted not to appeal the ruling because a loss at the highest court in Florida could have had “broader, negative implications” on future investigations. In other words, prosecutors feared that the Florida Supreme Court would react to an obvious violation of individual privacy rights by creating a standard that would have made it even harder to violate individual privacy rights in the future.
The simple reality of the case continues to be that, while operations like this surely have racked up plenty of quick and quiet guilty pleas in the past, Kraft fought back. In doing so, he exposed a corrupt, unconstitutional practice that was tantamount to spying on private citizens without probable cause to believe any crime was being committed.
Basically, they messed with the wrong guy. Kraft’s defense lawyers brought the underhanded tactics to light, and prosecutors decided to cut bait in recognition of the reality that the bigger boat they needed was nowhere to be found.