On our opposite page James Traub, who has written an exhaustive study of the Wedtech Corp., notes that practically everyone being prosecuted for crimes connected to that sinkhole of corruption is managing to elude the law by hook or crook. Traub attributes this to what he calls a "tender solicitude" of a Reagan-dominated federal appellate judiciary toward white-collar crime.
It is noteworthy, perhaps, that among those who are not getting off on appeal are the Mitchell brothers, Clarence III and Michael, who were convicted of Wedtech-related crimes and sentenced to prison terms.
We do not suggest that the Mitchells are innocent; we do suggest their crimes were relatively trivial compared to most of those committed in Wedtech, a Bronx manufacturing concern which was blessed personally by President Reagan but which was never more than merely a vehicle for assorted rip-offs.
Yes, Traub is right, there does appear to be an overweening inclination of the Reagan-appointed judges to overturn the convictions of Reagan-appointed political operatives involved in "white-collar crime." But the "tender solicitude" also seems to depend on the color of the skin beneath the white collar.