Proud members of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. We strongly believe in personal freedom, responsibility, and gun rights. We also believe in the 90/10 theory. That means that 10% of the people have 90% of the talent. Unfortunately, we are not in the 10% category. However, the rest of us are still better than 90% of the politicians.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Justice System

Just read an article on the problems in the justice system and am cogitating on it.  Not unusually, I find I agree with some and disagree with some of it.  Either way, it's a good article and is making me think about crime and punishment in this country.  Mr. Stuntz depiction of the way criminal justice has changed does not take into effect the changes wrought by social programs as currently administered, or the breakdown of the family unit and I consider that to be very high in the list of causes of breakdown in the justice system.

The criminal justice system has run off the rails. The system dispenses not justice according to law, but the “justice” of official discretion. Discretionary justice too often amounts to discriminatory justice. And no stable regulating mechanism governs the frequency or harshness of criminal punishment, which has swung wildly from excessive lenity to even more excessive severity.
I have always disliked the plea bargain set up.  Using it as a step to catching even worse criminals is one thing, using it as a way to clear clutter in the courts or to make your job easier is wrong in my opinion.  I am reminded of a something I read long ago in a novel which, due to my lousy memory, I will have to paraphrase and can't attribute because I can't remember from whence it came:
"Justice?  You don't get justice from cops.  From cops you get procedure.  Even if by some strange circumstance they catch the guy who did this by the time he works his way through the system the charges will be plea bargained down to something that barely resembles the real crime he committed.  No, what we have is a legal system, not a justice system."

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