My dad drilled something into my head growing up and the following reminded me of it:
One of the more depressing things in the life of being an activist for rights is that more often than not, rights are lost because people didn’t want to defend the bad guy. It’s easy to look the other way when Scummy McScumbag has his rights violated because… well because scumbag!
To which another person stated the following which further rung the bell:
But his legal rights were violated in the name of Justice. And as Robb points out, the violation of this man’s legal rights is a loss of rights for everyone. It gets easier to break the rules once you’ve done it once, and in this case, when you’ve been officially blessed by the Powers That Be.
Here is today’s lesson folks, it is simple and only a single sentence:
There is no correlation between the law and justice.
Did everyone get that? Please read it out loud and repeat it to yourself a few times because it is very critical you remember and understand it.
It is important to understand because that line succinctly describes both the positive and negative in the justice system. On the one hand you have the issue as Robb pointed out with Mr. Scumbag.
Mr. Scumbag gets a pass because his rights were violated, this boils back to the principal of protecting the innocent. This principal is important and is one that as a free people we should never lose sight of.
The second side of this is that the law can just as easily screw someone who doesn’t actually need screwing. It’s pretty darn unjust to annihilate someone’s rights and make them a felon over what really amounts to something that isn’t an actual danger to society.
We must remain vigilant for that exact reason. As our “elected betters” create laws, there is nothing actually guaranteeing that those laws are just. This especially holds true when the phrase above is tied in conjunction with the following:
The purpose of the law is to keep those who have money and power with the money and the power.
Lets also not forget about prosecutors and how they also fit into this entire mess. They provide yet another prong in the long illustration how there isn’t a correlation between the law and justice.
Yeah, at times it sucks when you think about the fact you have to defend some dude who truly should go to jail. The thing is, he would have if law enforcement played by the rules and the prosecutor did his job correctly, making sure to charge him with the applicable crime.
TMM is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.
Many know his private name and information however due to the current political climate, many are distancing themselves due to the abandonment of Due Process.
Having worked in the court system as a paralegal, I can say from my own experience that sometimes the legal system DOES produce just results, but there’s no guarantee of them. I can also say that the legal system works best when the parties are equally matched in terms of resources – the reason corporations do better in court than criminal defendants, on average, is because corporations can usually afford better lawyers, experts, etc. than your average criminal defendant.
I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few lawyers and judges who were concerned about resolving cases in ways that are both legal AND just. I’ve also seen some who bend the system to benefit their clients (in the case of lawyers) or their personal policy preferences (judges).
I’ve been on the receiving end and was defending myself from two felonies. My crime, making a poor judgement call, hitting ice, and colliding with an on-coming semi.
What honestly was a case of driving outside the conditions as defined by the law became a wild goose chase for the prosecutor to prove himself “tough” on college students.
[sarcasm]Because you know, I was totally about endangering the life of my future wife and myself.[/sarcasm]
The only reason I escaped the felonies was because I was educated by my father, who because he had excess funding got his Juris Doctorate for fun. I knew what those felonies carried with them and I knew exactly what it meant.
My attorney tried to convince me to take a plea agreement to drop one felony. Remember what you were saying about disparity, try a broke college student whose family lost their sole source of income, now burdened by massive medical bills, trying to find a lawyer, vs. the massive power of the state. Yeah that public defender didn’t want to waste his time. For the most part my “attorney” was merely a formality and didn’t do much to inspire my trust. The one attorney I was able to hire at home for a short period stated the state had no real case. There was no way I could afford to continue to pay him or the costs for travel.
One week before the trial the prosecutor offered a plea of reckless driving which was only a misdemeanor. The only reason I took that was because it was a guaranteed out from the felonies. You cannot do anything really as a convicted felon, much less be an engineer. He had me by the balls and I knew whatever jury I saw would see nothing more than “college student” and want to hang me for it.
In the grand scheme I think the prosecutor was merely trying to make up for the fact he defended this asshole, who was caught just after my incident… I found out he had defended the individual after they had to appoint a special prosecutor for the case.
Never mind the fact I hadn’t been drinking and was stone cold sober, yet they treated me like I was a drunk driver. Funny thing is, I see drunks do worse and get a lesser sentence than what I got in the plea agreement.
My last ounce of faith in the legal system was destroyed in that experience. Doubly so since every time I go to buy a gun I’m delayed all over being charged with a felony. No conviction required…. No correlation between the law and justice.*
*As an FYI, what the prosecutor would have done was send me, the sole source of income for my girlfriend and I upstate for 1 and a half years, minimum as required by the sentencing guidelines. He would have removed the person who was taking care of her as she continued to recover from the accident and learn to deal with her disability. Yet remember, he was going after me “for her”. (One of the charges of vehicular assault was because of her injuries. The other didn’t even meet the legal definition for the required injuries.)
Also never mind the fact that in the fines I paid, I paid a $500 fine labeled “Victims assement fund”. Yeah, my wife was the “victim” she never saw any of that, hell the state basically wanted to run her over in their fight to get me. Never mind the fact that penalty affected her just as much as it did me. No correlation between the law and justice.
Pingback: Quote of the Day - Scott Greenfield(10/10/2012) - The Minuteman