There was the mistrial concerning the alleged white-collar crimes of the former leaders of the law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf. The prosecution huffed and puffed but they couldn't blow down the reservations jurors had about the culpability of the three defendants.
Now there has been an acquittal on all counts in the alleged organized criminal activity of Vincent Asaro. As Thomas MacMillan reports in The Wall Street Journal, "The acquittal was a stunning setback for federal prosecutors, who have a record of convictions in high-profile organized crime cases."
Asaro had been accused of overseeing the $6 million theft of cash and jewels at the Lufthansa freight hanger. That heist had been captured in the film "Goodfellas."
Likely federal prosecutors will be more cautious in the cases they bring to trial. The game, after all, is about winning. Also, taxpayers recognize that the game is expensive. In addition, losing can hurt careers.
There is also something in the American DNA which roots for rule-breakers. The escapees from Clinton Correctional facility were cheered on by probably too many of us. Our founders were a bunch of misfits who couldn't make it in the old country. Because they didn't obey the rules, including in setting out a new economic system here, they wound up creating one of the most successful economies in the world. So, we knew that there is something smart about trying to make a buck off the grid.