Failing to indict a criminal sitting president sends the message that those in power are above the law.
Criminal activity exploded throughout the city – thugs multiplied by the thousands. Without fear of rebuke, there was nothing to stop them. It is the ultimate penalty that comes with tolerating the intolerant.
It is a shame that the Legal Aid Commission and the Aboriginal Legal Service are so poorly funded ....... State and federal governments should be addressing this issueThe Daily Telegraph, Sydney, 30 March 2014
I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime. It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture. It is a cruel and useless substitute for the elimination of those conditions--poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed--which are at the root of most punished crime. The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.It must surely be a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit that even a small number of those men and women in the hell of the prison system survive it and hold on to their humanity.
[Refers to 121 children taken into care in Cleveland due to suspected abuse (1987) and later returned to their parents]Sue Richardson, the child abuse consultant at the heart of the crisis, watched as cases began to unravel: “All the focus started to fall on the medical findings; other supportive evidence, mainly which we held in the social services department, started to be screened out. A situation developed where the cases either were proven or fell on the basis of medical evidence alone. Other evidence that was available to the court, very often then, never got put. We would have had statement from the child, the social workers and the child psychologist’s evidence from interviewing. We would have evidence of prior concerns, either from social workers or teachers, about the child’s behaviour or other symptoms that they might have been showing, which were completely aside from the medical findings. (Channel 4 1997) Ten years after the Cleveland crisis, Sue Richardson was adamant that evidence relating to children’s safety was not presented to the courts which subsequently returned those children to their parents: “I am saying that very clearly. In some cases, evidence was not put in the court. In other cases, agreements were made between lawyers not to put the case to the court at all, particularly as the crisis developed. Latterly, that children were sent home subject to informal agreements or agreements between lawyers. The cases never even got as far as the court. (Channel 4, 1997)”Nor is Richardson alone. Jayne Wynne, one of the Leeds paediatricians who had pioneered the use of RAD as an indicator of sexual abuse and who subsequently had detailed knowledge of many of the Cleveland children, remains concerned by the haphazard approach of the courts to their protection. I think the implication is that the children were left unprotected. The children who were being abused unfortunately returned to homes and the abuse may well have been ongoing. (Channel 4 1997)
[T]here are some human rights that are so deep that we can't negotiate them away. I mean people do heinous, terrible things. But there are basic human rights I believe that every human being has. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the United Nations says it for me. And it says there are two basic rights that can't be negotiated that government doesn't give for good behavior and doesn't take away for bad behavior. And it's the right not to be tortured and not to be killed. Because the flip side of this is that then when you say OK we're gonna turn over -- they truly have done heinous things, so now we will turn over to the government now the right to take their life. It involves other people in doing essentially the same kind of
Too many young Indigenous members of our community are being caught up in the criminal justice system, with an increasing number of cases resulting in notably unjust and undue outcomes, primarily due to the lack of resources available
Walter made me understand why we have to reform a system of criminal justice that continues to treat people better if they are rich and guilty than if they are poor and innocent. A system that denies the poor the legal help they need, that makes wealth and status more important than culpability, must be changed. Walter's case taught me that fear and anger are a threat to justice; they can infect a community, a state, or a nation and make us blind, irrational, and dangerous. I reflected on how mass imprisonment has littered the national landscape with carceral monuments of reckless and excessive punishment and ravaged communities with our hopeless willingness to condemn and discard the most vulnerable among us.
No more self-defeating device could be discovered than the one society has developed in dealing with the criminal. It proclaims his career in such loud and dramatic forms that both he and the community accept the judgment as a fixed description. He becomes conscious of himself as a criminal, and the community expects him to live up to his reputation, and will not credit him if he does not live up to it.
There is no one in the United States over the age of 18 who cannot be indicted for some federal crime. That is not an exaggeration.
The Defendant: I am pleading guilty your honors but I'm doing it because I think it would be a waste of money to have a trial over five dollars worth of crack. What I really need is a drug program because I want to turn my life around and the only reason I was doing what I was doing on the street was to support my habit. The habit has to be fed your honors as you know and I believe in working for my money. I could be out there robbing people but I'm not and I've always worked even though I am disabled. And not always at this your honors, I used to be a mail carrier back in the day but then I started using drugs and that was all I wanted to do. So I'm taking this plea to save the city of New York and the taxpayers money because I can't believe that the DA, who I can see is a very tall man, would take to trial a case involving five dollars worth of crack, especially knowing how much a trial of that nature would cost. But I still think that I should get a chance to do a drug program because I've never been given that chance in any of my cases and the money that will be spent keeping me in jail could be spent addressing my real problem which is that I like, no need, to smoke crack every day and every chance I get, and if I have to point people to somebody who's selling the stuff so I can get one dollar and eventually save up enough to buy a vial then smoke it immediately and start saving up for my next one that I'll gladly do that, and I'll do it even though I know it could land me in jail for years because the only thing that matters at that moment is getting my next vial and I am not a Homo-sapiens-sexual your honors but if I need money to buy crack I will suck. . . .
There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice.
You can tell a lot about a country by its prisons. In hippy-dippy Socialist Sweden, rapists and murders (all three of them) while away their days making arts and crafts in what are essentially taxpayer-funded mental health clinics. The Swedes’ theory seems to be that a) anyone who commits such a crime must be crazy and b) with enough art therapy, the individual in question will soon become just another law-abiding, nude-sunbathing pot-smoker. In America, we think people in prison are either the victims of some terrible government conspiracy, the victims of “society”—whatever that means—or heinous evildoers. And if they are heinous enough, we fry them with electricity, unless of course they find Jesus first. The Swedes, in a nutshell, are tolerant and forgiving, verging on the naïve; Americans are religious and vengeful, suspicious of their government, and suckers for tear-jerking tales of redemption.
What a growing number of sociologists have found ought to be common sense: by locking millions of people out of the mainstream legal economy, by making it difficult or impossible for people to find housing or feed themselves, and by destroying familial bonds by warehousing millions for minor crimes, we make crime more—not less—likely in the most vulnerable communities.