I would say Roberts is tied with Pat Buchanan for first place as America’s pre-eminent political/societal opinion writer. Years of genuine public service, education, and superior intelligence have left him in a unique position from which to observe the goings on of the declining USA. More importantly, he calls it like he sees it, like it is.
An economist extraordinaire, the legal system is one of his pet subjects. Particularly, he focuses on the criminal “justice” industry and in especial, on the inherent unfairness and injustice of American criminal law. He did so again recently: a masterful column:
The fact of the matter is that only 3% of felony cases go to trial, and in these cases prosecutors are able to bribe and to pay witnesses for false testimony against the accused and to withhold exculpatory evidence that would clear the defendant of the charges. In other words, conviction regardless of the evidence is almost always obtained.
In the other 97% of the cases, the defendant’s attorney negotiates with the prosecutor a fictitious charge to which the accused will plead guilty in exchange for dropping the more serious charge for which the accused was arrested. The attorney knows that to defend against even a false charge is unlikely to be successful and that the accused will draw a longer sentence from going to trial than from agreeing to a lesser charge in a plea bargain. Both prosecutor and judge are grateful, because it saves both from days, even weeks, of court time, thus keeping the judge’s case load lighter and permitting the prosecutor many more convictions with which to embellish his record. A week of plea bargains can produce many times the convictions of a week in court dealing with one case. The fewer cases the judge has to study and to apply his understanding of the law, the better for the judge.
As only 3% of cases go to trial, the police evidence is seldom tested. The police know this. One result is that it is much easier for the police to pickup someone who had committed a similar crime in the past and charge him, than to go to the trouble of solving the crime by investigating it. Indeed, the police are so out of touch with neighborhoods, compared to bygone days when police walked their beats and knew the population, and crimes appear so random, that many crimes simply can’t be investigated. Much easier to pick up someone with a record and charge them. This practice explains the high recidivism rates. Once convicted, they will convict you again. It is how crimes are “solved.”
Don Siegelman was probably the best governor Alabama ever had. He had to be good in order to be elected as a Democrat in a Republican state. The fact that President Obama, who had the support of 113 state attorneys general in behalf of Siegelman, did not lift a finger to have the Justice Department look into Siegelman’s frameup or use his pen to sign a pardon demonstrates that an ordinary citizen has no chance whatsoever. When a prominent governor can be framed, the fate of a single mom or a black man is sealed when they are arrested.
In the “American criminal justice system” justice is totally absent. There is no such thing as justice in America.
The nail, hit squarely and hard on the head.
There exists in this country, among the semi-literate masses, a lay juridical theory best summarized as: “The police wouldn’t arrest an innocent man.” They would. They do. They usually – 97% might be a little light – get away with it. Innocent people go to prison or pay fines for nothing. The masses celebrate their self-righteous ignorance and watch sports on TV. Case closed.
The great shame of the system, if the corruption and evil don’t count for it, is that this fabricated approach destroys the legitimacy of actual prosecution of real criminals. How can a system that railroads 97% of the participants as victims possibly be counted on to properly handle the other 3% of certain scofflaws? It can’t. If anything, the same laws are seemingly set up to allow the really guilty and the really harmful to go free. Some of them help make these debased laws. A rigged system of double standards.
Funny Junk. And not very funny…
Part of the problem is selective prosecution, persecution based on controlling behaviors (otherwise harmful to no one). American “justice” is a matter of towing the line, luck, access, connections, and money. For those accused of minor crimes, and to a lesser degree felonies, there is a narrow window for beating or buying justice. This requires a level of skill or luck far beyond that of the ordinary citizen. I’ve seen it in action in: Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and the Federal system. It’s real and it’s universal. It represents failure of jurisprudence and of civilization.
Based on my professional observations, I can vouch for Roberts’s assertions 100%. He investigates these matters nationwide with an honest, critical, and unbiased eye. I’ve corresponded with him on the problems as have numerous attorneys, victims (defendants), reporters, legislators, etc.
The next time you hear about someone accused of committing some crime, any crime, consider these questions:
1) did the person break any written law?;
2) did the person intend to break a law?;
3) did the person really do some act in contradiction of the law(s); and,
4) was there any actual problem or harm associated with the actions that amounted to the alleged law breaking?
The answer (to one or all) is very likely “no.”
Then consider that:
The subject law(s), if any, is likely invalid;
The law(s) has been misapplied;
There was no discernible victim;
There is no evidence whatsoever;
The prosecution’s case is probably constructed entirely of lies;
There is no equal application of the law(s);
There is no due process in the procedures of adjudication;
There will be no trial;
There will be no review by a jury of peers;
No defenses, however complete, will be accepted; and
Most people do not give a damn about any of this.
This is the American “justice” system. There is no justice in it at all.
Now consider that someday (if you haven’t already) you may be on the receiving end of this rank evil.
How’s your team doing?