Monday, August 22, 2011
A Celebration for Criminals
I’m sure the central planners will be shocked. Considering the fine job the state has done administering or regulating the health care industry, the airline industry, the education system, the social security system, the economy, the tax system, and our national “defense,” who would have expected the state would ruin the criminal justice system?
I hope the central planners are happy. After years of abuse and contorting the criminal justice system for political gain, the party is over and the secret is out. The criminal justice system is dead. It does not produce justice nor does it protect people or their property.
My brother practices criminal defense law in Massachusetts. We often speculate about whether the ongoing collapse is more evident in Massachusetts, Arizona or somewhere else. Any observant criminal defense attorney in America will agree about the collapse. Even prosecutors and some police officers are figuring it out.
A recent article in the Arizona Republic quoted the presiding judge of the Maricopa County, Arizona Superior Court as stating, “The criminal justice system is in peril. And public safety is in peril.” Although the immoral criminal justice system squirms and struggles to avoid or reverse the collapse, the end result is inescapable. At some point in the future, I expect a complete and total collapse of the criminal “justice” system.
In Arizona, the state recently decided to terminate supervised probation for lower level felony offenders as a cost savings measure. As usual, the law of unintended consequences prevailed. Last week, I was informed that in response, a major prosecuting office decided to discontinue all probation plea offers to such lower level offenses.
The combined net result of the cost savings policy will be to plead offenders to higher level offenses which carry even longer terms of probation. It was an impressive display.
I have personally witnessed guilty go free and innocent plead guilty. I have also witnessed peaceful people being treated as “real” criminals because they violated some law which, in a free society, would never have existed.
Decent people and families have been devastated. The constitution has been devastated. This country now incarcerates over two million people; enough to form the 51st state. Despite this incarceration machine, crime is on the rise and we are no safer. In fact, I believe most people are in danger of being prosecuted for some act they never suspected was illegal.
A police officer recently told me of his thankfulness for the drug war as it keeps him employed. He also told me I should be glad as the drug war indirectly provides income for me as well. Although he had a point, I responded that I would be just fine without the drug war as I would simply defend people charged with “real” crimes. He responded that I would have difficulty making a living solely defending people who commit “real” crimes because the police don’t apprehend many of those.
Although virtually everyone now acknowledges the obvious and imminent collapse, the solution is nonetheless still disputed. The ever present call for even more money as a remedy persists. More money will benefit the justice system as well as additional funding has benefited all other areas of government.
As all pro-freedom advocates know, much of the solution lies in the drug war. The criminal justice system cannot be fixed and will never again produce justice unless and until the drug war ends. Considering the fact that I have been unable to find two prosecutors who will debate me on this point, I can say with certainty that many prosecutors realize the extensive evils of the drug war. I also know from private talks with judges that many on the bench agree as well. Unfortunately, speaking out on the issue is another matter.
As the police state grows and grows and grows, the definition of a “criminal” becomes ever more obscured. Until that definition is brought back into focus, people who violate the rights of others are more likely to flourish while peaceful people should fear harm from the real criminals both in and out of the justice system.