Friday, September 01, 2006

CAN WE QUIT ACQUIESCING TO ACQUITTALS?

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?

16 comments:

  1. Jack was right. We've become a nation of ostrich-like, head-in-the-sand, overfed, undereducated buffoons who can't handle anything that might put them out of their comfort zone, such as the TRUTH. Christ. I'm so sick of the status quo. Save me, H.E.!

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  2. wow. I jumped tenses there. sorry for the grammar offense!

    =)

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  3. The terrible truth of the matter is that prosecutors are not held accountable for finding the truth, just putting a body in jail or fying someone in response to a crime. Sometimes the "evidence" buttered up to use against defendants is so pathetically weak you can't help wondering what the good citizens sitting on that jury were thinking; certainly they didn't consider if THEY would want to be convicted by such evidence. OR, the prosecutor and/or the arresting officers just flat out perjures themselves to get the conviction, in which case, unless you have a damn good defense atorney who can prove otherwise, the jury simply takes what it's given and goes from there. Until we can put in place a system that sends prosecutors to prison for milicious prosecutions, it's "there but for the grace of Bob goes anybody unlucky enough to piss off a power hungry D.A." The judge sitting at the trial also needs to be held accountable for allowing prosecutors to railroad someone into jail when due diligence would have prevented it. We have to damn many animals roaming out streets to be wasting our tax dollars destroying inocent people's lives, even if they do "look like they coulda done it".

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  4. 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.

    That's very true.

    I've always liked the idea of sending all law-breakers to an island in the middle of the ocean. There, they can live amongst themselves on the beach, or in the jungle - like LOST. It will be a survvial of the fittest type society. "We" won't have to deal with them here. They would have to deal with each other.

    If they killed each other, then so be it. If they work together and build a nice little island society, then that's great too. We're all better off.

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  5. grumblite5:45 PM

    Ahhh... "Judge not, lest ye be judged" is it, or more like, "Tangle thy laws, and thy
    remedies, alike"? In the end, we get only slightly more jurisprudence than we can afford, and the rest is either abandoned or
    ignored. If our concepts of law are
    tainted by an uneven corrective system, or skewed degrees of enforcement, then it shouldn't surprise anyone that whatever
    deterrent values laws should have are a bit diluted. Throw in a little selective theology, a few
    parades and flags, and the picture
    really gets hazy, for both perps and victims. Despite countless
    "enhancements" to the legal statutes, I'm not sure that human motivations are readily translated
    from the greys of subjective behaviour to the black-and-white
    of written laws, and if laws (as
    they are) are not evenly applied,
    then ???

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  6. I read your post this morning before I went to school. And then, as I was driving and listening to Bob FM, INXS's The Devil Inside came on. "The devil inside, the devil inside. Every single one of us, the devil inside." Makes you go "Hmmm".

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  7. The system is screwed up. But that's not the worst part. The worst part is that people who, I assume, consider themselves to be liberal are now literally calling for a police state to solve the problem:

    "Build more prisons if that is what we need to do."

    "Clear the docket and increase the staffing by tripling it if necessary but just do it! NOW!"

    Do you honestly think that building more prisons and putting an army of armed and uniformed goons on the streets will make it a better world? Can you really not think of examples where this very approach was tried already?

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  8. yea, what grumblite said!

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  9. tidalgrrrl,
    I can't save you and I wouldn't recognise a present tense from a pretense so don't worry. As long as it's the next guy who gets it I'm all for our present system...I guess.

    michael,
    There is nothing like the warm fuzzy feeling of homespun vigilante justice. We tolerate so much crap...we can't argue about why these monsters are born, formed and perfected because that would be unfair. We can't hold their parents responsible because that would be unfair. We have to give them several chances to redeem themselves and forget about the victim..is that fair?

    eponymousblogger,
    Yeah! Australia turned out OK! I suppose that keshi and aidan might have something to say about your plan.

    grumblicious,
    I wish that you weren't so damn right all of the time. Why can't I just RANT about criminal behavior without feeling guilty..just once. Grey areas schmay areas..fine.. I am not talking about parking fines I am talking about predator assholes who keep killing and do not care. If somebody wants to rehabilitate them fine but don't keep giving them opportunities to feed.

    brian,
    I know that we all carry the propensity to commit atrocities but somehow most of us never do..do we..no matter how mad you are...we just don't kill others do we. There exists among us individuals who would kill eveyone in your house and then sit down at the kitchen table and eat a sandwich..that's who I am talking about.

    Hi sh,
    I do consider myself fairly liberal on almost every inch of the spectrum except for this area..I admire certain Scandinavian countries who are experiencing remarkable progress with treating thieves and drug addicts but I am talking about warehousing and destroying dangerous offenders. Look the rest of the system will never catch up or improve. Which is fine as long as you don't have to get involved.
    I suspect that you are thinking that a little totalitarianism is on my wishlist..sorry. The reason 99% of science fiction writers forecast a Big Brother scenario is because our society is getting more dangerous as we ease up on crime and punishment and ignore FIXING the root of the problem..you tell someone that they shouldn't reproduce because there are too many people on this planet and see how long your political career lasts.

    All I wanted was to shake the tree a little and see just how entrenched we all are in this malaise. I suspect that most of us are completely resigned to this failure and just 'pray' that nothing ever happens to someone that they know instead of forcing political will into action. It's broken!

    michael,
    I know, I know, grumbly is still right! That's why I luv him so.

    .

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  10. I always like Baffin Island as a free range prison for dangerous preditors. Let them try to swim for freedom when the water is a balmy -37 degrees. This way if you choose to act like a wild animal then you will be treated as a wild animal. I do not believe it's society's role to decide which homicidal maniac should live and which should die but, it is society's role to protect the innocent by removing the preditors from our midst. No need for wardens, guards or expensive prisons. All the convicted need is a toothbrush and a parachute as you push them out the back of a c47 Hercules prisoner transport. Then you air drop the basic neccesaties once a month or so and let the honor system take over. Wonder how long Clifford Olson would last in that environment. I smell a new reality show brewing.

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  11. hey deckboy!
    You would sully our scenic Baffin with these miscreants..
    Great Idea! We could tease them by leaving Sea King Helicopters.."go ahead make my day"..take your chances trusting one of these 50 year old piles of crap to escape in.

    Except that they would find a way off..maybe I have watched too many movies but nothing is impossible for bad guys as they plan their ultimate act of revenge against society and head towards the final showdown with the protagonist..yes I have watched too many movies..
    Deckboy I like how how you wash your hands of these guys murdering each other..Clifford Olsen (Canada's Pedophilic Monster) wouldn't last one hour anywhere in Canada (we are protecting HIM in prison)

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  12. "And right is wrong if law is wrong and the law is always right." - me.

    JMJ

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  13. You got me thinking about Al Pacino early in the post and then I couldn't focus on anything else you said. I'm sure it was a lovely post, but Al Pacino... mmmm. He's definitely my weakness.

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  14. cI've always liked the idea of sending all law-breakers to an island in the middle of the ocean.

    took the words right out of my mouth, Australia did a reasonable job, just watch your valuables.

    My inner socialist is hurting, as a deterministic socialist i belive the punnishment is superfluous is you remove the root cause, also that no action we make is free, remove poverty and you remove crime. 80ish% of crime is against property, haves and the responce of the have nots.

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  15. Hey, let's face it: the shit always rises to the top. And that's where all the shit is.

    The judges, the courts, the prosecutors are all hog-tied by the laws.

    If the laws have holes in them, which they do, and they're designed to protect the perps rather than the victims, then it's chaos.

    And chaos is what it is.

    We all know O.J. was guilty as hell, but he walked. Even if he hadn't walked, he'd be watching TV and being fed every day at taxpayers' expense.

    Even in the prison system, those who have money and can hire the best lawyers are on easy street, because they can afford the best lawyers who can find the loopholes in the prosecution case.

    I hate to say it, but why don't we bring back the thumbs-up or thumbs-down life or death, innocent or guilty scenario?

    Fill one of those 100,000-seat monolithic stadia, have the prosecutors and defence present their case, and have the PEOPLE give their thumbs up or thumbs down?

    Thumbs down, they go to Baffin Island and are dumped on an ice floe next to a polar bear.

    Thumbs up, they're free. Money paid to lawyers, negligible. Billions going into a prison system that doesn't work, saved.

    Anguish for all of society, negligible.

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  16. JMJ,
    and left is right is all thats left is right!

    anna,
    aha! got a thing for short guys with basset hound eyes do ya?
    I love the little guy too...he is fabulous.

    aidan,
    Australia fahevah!
    If we work on solving the root of all evil the whole system will collapse! We are totally set up to clean up messes and cry over spilled milk.
    My inner socialist is dying I had better watch Once Were Warriors again...

    Emperor Caligula,
    Wo!

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