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Is this Justice, or Incredible Failure???

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posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 02:11 PM
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The U.S. Justice System (although possibly one of the best in the world) is still very flawed. I've been thinking about this on and off for the past few years and tried to come up with rules and regulations that would make true justice a reality.

Is improvement even possible considering human error and willful deceit? What exactly is wrong here and what would we have to do to make it better and more effective?

Let me start by explaining to you why (in my opinion) it is flawed.

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1.) It is flawed, because if it weren't we would not see murderers, serial rapists and other violent criminals go free only to see them repeat those crimes again.

2.) It is flawed, because if it weren't we would not see innocent people go to jail for a crime they did not commit.

3.) It is flawed, because many defense attorneys defend clients they know are 100% guilty, and oftentimes win in court, setting these people free. I say that because I know it to be true.
- Prosecutors also sometimes prosecute people they know are innocent, taking freedom away from them all in the name of winning a case.

4.) It is flawed, because Lawyers are rewarded for winning cases rather than delivering justice. The more cases they win (regardless of whether justice was delivered), the more likely they are to advance professionally.

5.) It is flawed, because Judges are visibly biased against certain groups. While one judge may be lenient toward a woman who has committed a certain crime, another judge may be very hard on that same woman and same crime. It seems incredibly flawed to me that your fate can take two, three, four different turns depending on which judge presides over your case.

6.) It is flawed, because our jails are more like schools and networking for criminals (improving and gaining new knowledge on how to break the law without getting caught).

7.) It is flawed, because jails (in a perfect world) should spend more time trying to rehabilitate an inmate rather than set him free among his own kind to encourage violent behavior.

8.) It is flawed, because certain "crimes" should not be considered crimes to begin with, let alone making them a reason for jail time.

9.) It is flawed, because people who made a minor mistake once or twice (through their own doing, or through the forceful actions of someone else), end up paying for it for the rest of their lives. The system creates a black mark next to their name, making it incredibly difficult to find respectable employment, and therefore almost impossible to carry on a 'normal' life. The circumstance under which the crime was committed is usually not taken into account in a background check that may be performed by a potential employer.

10.) It is flawed (and this is a continuation of #9), because due to being unable to lead a normal life, a person deemed a criminal may see no other option except to return to his/her criminal ways in order to make life more comfortable for him/herself. We as a society narrow his/her options, making the criminal option even more appealing to them.

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I'd like to make an additional comment on #3. I once expressed my disgust to someone regarding defense attorneys setting the guilty free on ridiculous technicalities. I was told that despite these outcomes, the defense attorney was only doing his job. It was the prosecution that should have worked harder to put the criminal in jail. While I agree that both the defense attorney and the prosecution should have done all that is possible to deliver justice, the outcome is still Injustice!

If you think of more flaws I may have missed feel free to add to the list. If you live in a different country I would be interested to hear what you think of your Justice System there.

My question to you is;

- In your opinion, is there anything we can do to make true justice possible?

- How can we improve our system and what changes would need to take place?

- Have you been victimized by the current Justice System in a way that it affected your life permanently?


I thought it would be helpful if we brainstormed on some possible solutions and debated why they would or would not work.

EDIT:

One idea I had for improving the system was to create a group of investigators/lawyers who would work together as a group. This group would represent both the criminal and the victim. The group would not be allowed to take sides of either person until their investigation was complete and showed positive results, proving a case one way or another. They would discuss and argue amongst each other, bring important information forward until they all reach an agreement. Lawyers would no longer advance professionally based on how many cases they have won. Their worth would be determined based on how well they worked in the group.

This, of course, would change the way lawyers make a living. Making it impossible for a victim or criminal to hire a personal attorney, maybe both the victim and criminal would have a "group" recommended to them by the court. Both victim and criminal would be responsible for legal fees to the group, depending on the outcome of the verdict. This idea hasn't been smoothed out and perfected yet. It would be nice to hear some opinions on it first.







[edit on 11-11-2009 by 2manyquestions]




posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 02:41 PM
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I hate to say this, but the US Justice system is nowhere near the best in the world. I would counter that virtually every European Countries Justice system is way above the US one.



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 02:54 PM
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reply to post by 2manyquestions
 


Justice and injustice are part of the polarity of the human consciousness. When humans will have perfect equilibrium between soul, spirit and mind, they wont need a "justice" system anymore for the polarity will have disappeared from the human psyche.



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by Wotan
 


What makes you say that? Any particular examples? Why are they better than the U.S. System? If what you say is true, then it would be nice to hear how other countries handle their problems so that we may learn from them. I was born in Europe and lived in a couple of different countries. I did not pay attention to their legal systems at the time, so I can't offer anything worth saying until I do some research on the subject.



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by 2manyquestions
 


Yes, I believe that the justice system is flawed, but mostly due to the fact that we have a corrupt gov't. Income taxes are unconstitutional, but everyday people are tried and convicted of not paying. Same thing when people take back what is theirs and become sovereign. No matter how much evidence for all of it, it is ignored. The second main reason is just being humans. As humans we all make mistakes, so innocent people will be convicted, and vice versa, but alot of that is changing because of the technology and advances in criminal justice. The third main reason is bias. If a person has a particular view on something, they most likely will choose what best fits their beliefs despite justice or evidence. For example if a truly innocent man is trial for Rape, and one or two people on the jury have a particular dislike for rapist, chances are they will vote guilty. However, we do, overall, have a very good and balanced system of justice relative to the rest of the world, and we have rights for the accused. Alot of countries dont have things like that, or atleast to the extent we do.



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by lagenese
reply to post by 2manyquestions
 


Justice and injustice are part of the polarity of the human consciousness. When humans will have perfect equilibrium between soul, spirit and mind, they wont need a "justice" system anymore for the polarity will have disappeared from the human psyche.


That could be thousands of years from now. Since we live in the here and now, we have to figure out a solution to our current problems. When I say the word "Justice", I don't mean anything opinion or culture based. I'm talking about determining for a fact who is guilty of a crime and who is not, so that the wrong people are not physically and psychologically punished.



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:13 PM
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reply to post by Wotan
 
sir you are in a dream world if you think the british legal system is good.
we live in a country that arrests and prosecutes the victims of crime.
we live in a country that releases proven violent criminals out on bail that go on and kill
we live in a country that the police ignore pleas for help by victims of crime
i could go on and on.
the police and the legal system in the uk is an absolute joke



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:19 PM
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Originally posted by Wotan
I hate to say this, but the US Justice system is nowhere near the best in the world. I would counter that virtually every European Countries Justice system is way above the US one.


I worked in law enforcement for many years and can say without a doubt: the US system as a whole is a monstrous failure for every day citizens. The police and DA / city attorney have such a huge un fair advantage, they know every dirty legal trick to get what they want regardless of weather or not it serves justice... on top of that they have massive resources at their disposal to leverage.

Dont think for one second a public defender will help you, you can generally forget about that idea... your life is little more than a manila folder with a case number on it.. your life is swimming in a sea of other folders piled up on the DDAs desk. In order to get real help, you literally have to be a giant PITA and on your DDAs back... what do you expect for free?

I have seen DA charge a person with a number of felonies they know wont stick, the charges are used as bargaining chips to get a plea. When all the lawyer bickering was done, the final deal was plea to 1 misdemeanor w/ 90 days in county.. which equals about 7 or 8 actual days incarceration... pretty far from the initial offer of 7 years in prison. But hey, the DA gets a plea which is as good as a conviction stat, and the defendant thinks he 'won' bigtime with 90 days rather than 7 years.

Cops & DAs are masters at nutty laws, rules and procedures most people have no clue exist and if you show up to court demanding your constitutional rights to cut through all that BS, you'll annoy the judge. The judge who is friends with the DAs & DDAs.. it was not un common to see them all drinking, laughing and getting along as co-workers do just hours after they put on a WWF like show in court.. pretending to serious advocates for justice when in reality, court rooms today are like assembly line slaughter houses. Moving "the bodies" through as fast as possible makes manila folders move in the right direction.. so more folders can be shoved through tomorrow.

There is no fixing this mess in its current form, the bet thing to do is stay as far away from it as possible because rights you think matter, don't.. and there is nobody to complain to after you have been porked.



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:21 PM
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Originally posted by 2manyquestions
reply to post by Wotan
 


What makes you say that? Any particular examples? Why are they better than the U.S. System? If what you say is true, then it would be nice to hear how other countries handle their problems so that we may learn from them. I was born in Europe and lived in a couple of different countries. I did not pay attention to their legal systems at the time, so I can't offer anything worth saying until I do some research on the subject.


I have tried to answer your 10 point questions as best as I could with some examples from the UK system.

1. This is down to sentencing. Also a big failure on the US Justice system’s part is ‘plea bargaining’.
2. The policing system is a fault here, by not doing enough homework or corruption. Also I believe a professional National Police Force is needed or at least a national standard of policing.
3. It is not the Defence Attorneys fault, but the Prosecution Attorneys fault by having a weak case and vice versa.
4. No comment here as I do not know enough about this.
5. Judges should be unbiased. Sentencing should only be given or not due to the facts presented.
6. My belief on this is due to the US system of State Prisons. In the UK ALL prisons are ‘National’ Prisons and regular movement of prisoners occurs around the nation. Also one big difference in UK Prisons is that Prison Officers are ‘on the landings’ amongst the prisoners, hence it can stop the ‘schools’.
7. UK Prisons do encourage rehabilitation with courses that prisoners have to complete before any parole or release is even thought about.
8. I agree that there are some ‘petty crimes’ that perhaps do not deserve to have prison sentences.
9. I think this is true amongst a lot of different countries justice systems. In the UK, we have an offender rehabilitation program which also looks out for ‘ex-cons’ after release to help them to not re-offend and tries to get them employment.
10. A lot here depends of the type of offences originally committed, ie drug related offences as they can be addicts. Others like ‘long-term’ career criminals that have done long stretches find it very hard to adapt to life on the outside after a 30 year stretch, so find prison as ‘home’.

My experience I hasten to add of the US System is from what I have gleaned from the TV and of some UK Prison Officers that have done 'exchange visits' in the US.

Also, some of this is personal experience from currently working in the UK Criminal Justice system as a Prison Nurse.

regards



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:27 PM
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We really have a legal system, not a justice system. A just system would convict every criminal and make sure they will never commit another crime again. Our legal system will free 1000 criminals so that 1 innocent is not unjustly convicted. I can't think of any other legal system that is more just than that of the US, however flawed it may be.



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by tom.farnhill
reply to post by Wotan
 
sir you are in a dream world if you think the british legal system is good.
we live in a country that arrests and prosecutes the victims of crime.
we live in a country that releases proven violent criminals out on bail that go on and kill
we live in a country that the police ignore pleas for help by victims of crime
i could go on and on.
the police and the legal system in the uk is an absolute joke



I never said that the UK system was perfect.

I do have an arguement with one of your points - You cannot be a proven violent criminal on bail as he/she has not been sentenced, therefore they are 'innocent'.



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:42 PM
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I wanted to add one easy thing ATS types / everyone can do: accept jury duty and vote not guilty on stupid cases. I have seen it work.

Here in Los Angeles the DA in conjunction with the LAPD animal task force and SPCA are prosecuting people for the heinous crime of having more than 3 cats.. anything over 3 requires a kennel permit and is charged as "cruelty".. old ladies with no history of ever breaking the law were being dragged into court and charged as animal abusers; after getting a plea the spca then filed civil cases against them putting liens on the old folks houses. Legal organized crime imo.

Thankfully a few jurors threw out cases like this even though the defendants admitted to having more than 3 cats.. because of the jury nullification the DA stopped charging 3+ cat owners as aggressively... it only took a few people on jury duty to derail that scam...

Jury nullification is something the everyday person can to to let the system know what they're wasting time & resources.

This site used to cover scams like these:
laanimalwatch.blogspot.com...



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by GovtFlu
 


What you described is sobering to say the least. I knew it was bad, but had no idea just how corrupt the system really is. It disgusts me beyond my ability to express it. I know a couple of lawyers personally, and the stories I've heard from them were unbelievable. That's just one of the things that got me started on trying to figure out a way to fix it.



posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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Yes our legal system is a collossal failure.
Seldom are cases judged on individual merits when a one-size-fits-all system is easier.

Any Prosecutor who sends and innocent to prison should have to serve the same sentence when the innocence is discovered. Yeah, including the death penalty - in the event the innocent has been executed.

There is often in adequate investigation and mishandling of evidence, which I have been told is "normal".

And Jury Nullification is not what it is cracked up to be.
TPTB have taken that option and trashed it.

jury

"Justices Say Jurors May Not Vote Conscience
Ruling: The law must be followed even if panelists believe the result will be unjust, state's highest court finds."

Where are the Lawyers who are willing to stand up to this sort of thing?
Most of them make good money and it seems that going after this sort of thing "pro bono" would result in them making even more money.



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by Wotan

a proven violent criminal is someone that has an history of violent crimes. there are many cases of this happening here in the uk.
only this week a proven sex offender who raped a seven year old boy but was not sent to prison. eight days later he raped a five year old boy.
it also turns out that he had been charged of a rape before all this happened but was accquitted and after he had been cleared he openly addmitted that he had done it.



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 11:24 AM
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The US has the highest documented per capita incarceration rate of any
country in the world. See

en.wikipedia.org...

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH believes the extraordinary rate of incarceration
wreaks havoc on individuals, family, and communities, and snaps the
strength of the nation as a whole.

What a waste of financial and human resources !

As of year end 2007, a record 7.2 million people in the US were behind bars.

70% of all inmates are non-white !

While your sheriffs can make political career based on the numbers of
criminals convicted, where often evidence is being manipulated,
Europe has a strict division of powers : legislation, execution, and
jurisdiction. All three are independent irrespective of the parties in
power. Every policeman on all levels has a life-time job, like the
attorneys and prosecutors.

The US has different laws for different states making its citizens
unconstitutionally unequal before the law - contrary to Germany e.g.,
where the 16 member states have a common federal legal ruling.

The US has in the past disrespected in a number of cases the VIENNA
CONVENTION that requires consular aid to criminal foreigners, like
in the case of two German brothers, who were both executed
(murdered ?), inspite of chancellor SCHROEDER´s intervention.
The Vienna C. bans death penalty.

I pointed already out to your president that your death penalty is
based on unequal treatment of your citizens by state of residence.

Repetitive shop-lifting can get you life-long behind the bars in the US !

You still have elements of the WILD WEST in your jurisdiction.

Above each European national country´s legislation we have a last resort
in the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg/France.

I am convinced, a European repetitive shop-lifter, convicted to a life-
long sentence, would be acquitted in Strasbourg.

Turkey, a non-EU member of the European Council of 47 (?), is the
country with the most unjust national rulings, which, of course, it has
to correct.

The US´s judicial system is still too young compared to ours dating back
to the Romans.



posted on Nov, 12 2009 @ 01:44 PM
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Originally posted by OhZone
Any Prosecutor who sends and innocent to prison should have to serve the same sentence when the innocence is discovered. Yeah, including the death penalty - in the event the innocent has been executed.


Although that sounds really satisfying at first, it wouldn't be a fair solution either... would it? In that case I don't think anyone would ever go to jail for fear that the prosecution team risks ending up behind bars eventually,... OR, there would be immense fraud going on to hide the innocence of certain prisoners. I think those innocent prisoners would be found dead first before they were discovered by the public, and the evidence would disappear quickly.

Even today when there is evidence to prove a prisoner is innocent after all, the prosecution absolutely refuses to budge or admit any mistakes. Simply put they are perfect, and there is no way they could have made a mistake.
He's GUILTY because I want him to be!

EDIT:

Just had a thought today. Are Lawyers responsible for most of America's griefs? I know that a lot of them end up becoming politicians. Since they know the laws, they can use them to their advantage, finding loopholes and playing with words to get their way. Not every lawyer is a bad person of course, but it got me thinking just how much of our pain (as a country) can be attributed to lawyers. Hmmm






[edit on 12-11-2009 by 2manyquestions]



posted on Nov, 29 2009 @ 12:52 PM
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The Justice system is an utter mess, figuring out what to do about it is an entirely different matter.The heart of the problem is the system of prosecution where the prosecutors office will use the letter of the law to break the spirit of the law.

It does come down to the prosecutors don't care if the case has merit or not they do not care if they have all of the facts correct or not they will charge you with everything they can so that they can force you to take a plea bargain so they get a win. They do not care what it takes they have their future political career to look after.


Then you have a problem in the system where you can find yourself not guilty of the crime you were charged with but then guilty of a lesser charge, which is another load of BS.

I do know in Ohio there is no open discovery for the defense if the prosecutor wants to withhold evidence they may and they do all too frequently. Judges pretty much do what they want it can take upwards of a year to actually to actually get your case tried, oftentimes cause the Judge decided to take the day off.

The system is designed to make you a criminal. The Prison system is not much better. We went from a system designed to rehabilitate you into a productive citizen into a crime school. The fact that once you are convicted of a felony you are in effect unemployable, Which goes against the very principle of the rehabilitation anyway so what do you have to resort to?

You can educate the criminal all you want but if they have no feasible way of succeeding in gaining good employment in the real world of course they are going to go back to the lifestyle that allowed them to get at least some degree of the American Dream.




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