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Criminal Justice System Essay

1288 words - 6 pages

There is something terribly wrong with our criminal justice system and it has nothing to do with how liberal or conservative our judges are. Granted you the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals would let Jack the ripper off with a slap on the wrist but it's the system that's broken, not the judiciary.Don't buy into the argument that the justice system is entirely racially motivated merely because the number of black prisoners versus the number of white prisoners is disproportionate to the population at large. There are more blacks than whites in prison because blacks commit more crimes and whites get away with more crimes. There are also more blacks in prison for another reason. Although we have ...view middle of the document...

Using that definition literally, what comes to mind is the potential makeup of a jury for a Fortune 500 CEO and that of your neighborhood dope dealer. Should the CEO have a jury composed of business leaders and chambers of commerce types while the dope dealer have twelve people from the hood sitting on his or her jury? Basically, the Founding Fathers had in mind a jury of common people, without rank or privilege - the man or woman on the street, so to speak. What they did not have in mind is a high-priced "jury selection consultant" trying to skew the jury in favor of one person or another. We also don't need a "quota system" that tells us if the defendant is black a certain number of jurors must be black. What that says is they're betting on the black people on the jury, unlike their white counterparts, being prejudiced in favor of a black defendant simply because he or she is black. They might understand the defendant a little better but they are perfectly capable of making decisions based on the facts.A jury of twelve honest people can only rely on what they hear in the courtroom. If several witnesses have no fear of perjuring themselves, their testimony is worthless and misleading. And yet, on thousands of occasions every day convicted felons are allowed to get up on the witness stand and lie. Why would they do that? Because the law enforcement community, prosecutors and District Attorneys specifically, will exchange favors for testimony that will help their case, thereby creating tainted testimony. How many times have you read of a verdict being overturned, sometimes years later, because a witness lied? A large percentage of those witnesses were convicted felons. If you are the one innocent person who has been railroaded with perjured testimony, the numbers really don't make any difference.One thing might stop that travesty. Convicted felons should be prevented, by law, from testifying in any case other than their own. They have already lost their voting privileges, a punishment with more bark than bite, but they are allowed to stand up in front of a jury and turn our criminal justice system into a cesspool.Any police officer will tell you that criminals lie just about all the time, even when they have no need to. They will say anything that will advance their cause and lessen their punishment and waiting in the wings is your friendly prosecutor ready to cut a deal. A law prohibiting convicted felons from testifying in a court of law, except when it relates to their own case, would stop the "snitch" industry in its...

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