Do you trust the American Judicial system?
Something is not right, the guilty is being set free> and the innocent is locked up.. what is going on.....Who is failing us? should we trust the laws or invested in the Lawyers?
Yes I trust it to a degree. I trust the fact that I can mount my own defense should I need to and that, if instructed properly by a judge, a jury knows that the burden of proof rest on the prosecution not me.
Do I trust individuals in the system such as some police and some prosecutors? That answer would be no. The system as a whole is yes. Is it perfect? No.
I think law being an invention, judge being a human being, prosecution being replete with power -- something would be amiss sometime. The issue is power: armed, persuasion, executive, priestly. Power promulgates the law. Whether it is just is another matter. For example, contitutionality: the vote of 9 justices of the supreme court against the vote of Congress. Pres. FD Roosevelt got into trouble with constitutionality that is why he wanted to pack the supreme court. There are countries where constitutionality is not part of the judicial system. Take Switzerland. I have a perception that the American judicial system works with dispatch with the jury. I like the story of George Norris, congressman then senator for 45 years in the 1990s, when he was a district judge about justice for the farmer versus the banker. But it also shows that the judge is a human being giving a better chance for the farmer to pay for his loan when his harvest was destroyed by a hurricane. I like to argue about constitutionality.
Absolutely not. I can sit here and say that it has a few flaws and blah blah blah. But if I am ever charged with a crime I am going to panic. I have no money for even a poor lawyer and you only get as much justice in America as you can afford. I may become one of the vast majority who plea bargain their case eventhough I am innocent for fear of going to court since 4/5 of all trials end in conviction. The American Justice System scares the hell out of me.
Of course I trust it, it works the majority of the time and I'd rather be arrested here than anywhere else in the world. When someone you think is guilty is set free, it's usually because the evidence didn't convince the jury. Sometimes innocent people get convicted because someone incorrectly identifies them or evidence is mishandled, which is not the fault of the court or the jury, but of the witness/victim who identified them or the evidence analysts. We're human, mistakes happen and it's terrible, but it's not something that happens regularly and it shouldn't shake your faith in a great system.
At least in America we don't have to prove our innocence as is the case in many countries. The state has to prove our guilt, and that's a high burden.
Our judicial system though not perfect it is I believe one of the best if not the best in the world. Individuals who are part of the system such as police, judges, prosecutors, lawyers and even juries are what makes the system work.
The proof in any case in our judicial system rest with the prosecutor to make their case. If they do not have the evidence to tie everything together they will lose. One point to make in this respect is that prosecutors must work with the evidence they are given from investigators. If they lose a case it is not necessarily their fault if the evidence is not there to make their case complete.
In terms of other cases such as lawsuits it is up to those filing the complaint to prove their case either before a judge or a jury. Everything is based on the evidence provided.
In any system such as our judicial system it is made up of individuals who have responsibilities to make the system work to the best it can by providing the required information so the right decisions are made.
One need only look at all of the crimes that are committed by repeat offenders who never should have been let out.
Or look at the people who have remained in prison even though their innocence has been proven. Then we have plea bargaining. If you are arrested for a crime then that is what you should be tried for. You shouldn't be allowed to cop to a lesser crime for a shorter sentence.
The problems don't come so much from our laws as they do from our courts. We let lawyers pick juries, why? If we are going to have the jury system the shouldn't it be the first 12 people. But it never is. First it tends to be the people who couldn't get out of jury duty. Then each side gets to cherry pick a jury with endless questionnaires and studies.
Another problem, especially in civil law, is that jurors are, more often than not, completely ignorant of the subject involved. Is a retired secretary competent to judge whether a product is at fault if it fails due to improper use or has been altered in some way? How about a student or a grocery clerk? Unless you have some engineering knowledge it is hard to tell.
Look at the famous Ford Pinto case. A 1 ton van fully loaded slammed into the back of a stopped Pinto at 80 mph. The Pinto caught fire and Ford was blamed for the death of the people in the Pinto.
But the Pinto was completely demolished and coroners said that they all died instantly from the impact, not the fire. Further Pintos weren't really any more prone to fires than any other similar size car under those conditions. But juries feel sorry for injured parties and award millions.
Given the costs of trials and what is at stake we would be better served by a professional jury system. Or at least one that pays people enough for their service and enlists people who have an understanding of how things work. A system that doesn't let anyone skip without a reason.
There are plenty of retired people from every walk of life who would be willing to serve and are more competent.
It works like the rest of America, you don't see a lot of wealthy people in behind bars.
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