I recently watched the movie DEVIL'S ADVOCATE ('97) for about the 20th time. Al Pacino going over the top with his portrayal of John (Satan) Milton is always so much fun to watch and he has some great lines.. .
Pacino as Satan,
"Why not? I'm here on the ground with my nose in it since the whole thing began. I've nurtured every sensation man's been inspired to have. I cared about what he wanted and I never judged him. Why? Because I never rejected him. In spite of all his imperfections, I'm a fan of man! I'm a humanist. Maybe the last humanist."
"You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire; you build egos the size of cathedrals; fiber-optically connect the world to every eager impulse; grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green, gold-plated fantasies, until every human becomes an aspiring emperor, becomes his own God... and where can you go from there?"
"Free will. It's like butterfly wings: once touched, they never get off the ground. No, I only set the stage. You pull your own strings."
It made me wonder about his line about lawyers having the ultimate backstage pass. We live in a world that is controlled by lawmakers who tell us that they know more (implicated idiots) about the cause and effects of human behavior and the concepts of right and wrong. What would the justice system look like if we had the opportunity to actually vote on the standards, enforcement, and implementations?
As it stands we are forced to deal with people's guilt or innocence based on the dictation of the system regardless of the truth. Sometimes there is a huge distance between the truth of a matter and whether it can be proven (or not) in a court of law.. legally guilty v. factually guilty?
If the glove does not fit..you must acquit! Some people do horrible things to others but now we seem to be handcuffed by political correctness. WHY someone did something terrible seems more important than the FACT that they did it. It is used as an EXCUSE to soften the sentence and encourage others. Instead of correcting the problem we add to it by ignoring the fact that 'BAD' people need to be removed from the general population ..in some instances for the rest of their life and in extreme cases forever! Why waste valuable resources on monsters. That is ridiculous. We need to reward people who live by the rules not punish them for it! Build more prisons if that is what we need to do. This disintegration of society is not going to magically correct itself and we now have an excellent idea of what happens if we ignore it.
We end up having clusters of well protected neighbourhoods for the wealthy and leaving the majority to take their chances and basically fend for themselves. The other thing is that all of the legal manoevering takes years and years..justice must be swift in order to have any deterrence value. Clear the docket and increase the staffing by tripling it if necessary but just do it! NOW!
The system has failed.
So is this really as far as we can go with this? I think that it is fair to say that nowadays the rights of the accused far outweigh the rights of the victims....there is a separate system for wealthy people.. and there still appears to be so many underlawyered poor innocent men on death row!
Will the pendulum ever swing towards discovering the TRUTH or have we really just completely given up on that notion? Afterall the truth about most matters is rarely politically correct.The only people who can't get out of jury duty are retirees and those who are unemployed! Peers? Dr. Phil had a lucrative career profiling potential jurors to stack the odds for defense lawyers.
Remember Jack Nicholson yelling at the jury in A Few Good Men, "You can't handle the truth!" Well, is he right?