an end to "courts" (was RE: An end to "court appointed attorneys" )

Bill Stewart stewarts at
Fri Aug 22 22:23:04 PDT 1997

In most kinds of welfare, the state is pretending to "help" the recipient
by protecting them against the real world, whether it's the difficulties
of finding food, medical care, or whatever; it's a job that really 
belongs to private charity, though arguably government may provide
more help by inefficiently spending large amounts of theft-funded money
vs. efficiently spending smaller amounts of voluntary money and labor.

Public defenders are a different case, however - the attacks the
government is protecting the recipient against are attacks by the
government itself, and the cost of hiring a lawyer to defend him against
the government may be as severe a punishment as the offence in question.
OJ may have been able to outspend the prosecution in an attempt to
obtain justice or evade it, but you can't.

Court-funded attorneys are obviously in a conflict of interest, 
even in non-political crimes, and the government isn't overly 
enthusiastic about funding them well, and they're usually not as good 
as the ACLU would be, but on the other hand they _will_ often 
provide some help for cases the ACLU doesn't bother with.
How much they're there to really help, and how much their purpose is
to let the government pretend it's being fair, is a toss-up.
But the average citizen, who doesn't deal with the court end of
government every day or every year, has a minimal chance of justice
without competent legal assistance, or without spending more time
than the average prosecution cycle learning how the courts work.

>Prosecution: "The DNA results showed a match to an average of two out of
>the earth's 7 billion inhabitants. Mr. Simpson's DNA was one of them. "
>Defense: "So how come you ain't lookin' for da other guy?"
>Jurors: "Like Johnnie said, if it do not fit, you must acquit."

Well, Johnnie was right about that.  The police had decided (probably
correctly) that OJ was the most likely murderer, and had set out to
convict him, doing it sloppily and in ways that tainted the evidence.
Bad lab procedures, which were apparently a problem, made it possible
to mix up samples (even if they weren't doing it deliberately),
as well as to interpret the tests in the most pro-conviction way.
And because the police were quite public about their accusations,
they were under pressure to get the conviction, by any means necessary. 

One of the important principles of American justice, such as it is,
is that people are supposed to be innocent unless they're really
proven guilty, beyond reasonable doubt, and that it's better to
fail to convict an occasional guilty person than to convict an
innocent person - especially when the penalty may be death.
The police botched their case terribly, and they deserved to lose.
The jury did the right thing in not accepting it.
On the other hand, the civil jury that stuck it to OJ financially
also did the right thing; there _was_ a lot of evidence that he did it,
to the level of proof required for a civil case.

>OJ Simpson could have received a trial beginning 60 days after the 
>murders, lasting for no more than 10 days, and with his execution to 
>follow within 30 days after that. (Yes, I would allow one "appeal," 
>with a higher court listening to any objections to how the lower court
>operated, etc., and possibly ordering a new trial, etc. It should not 
>take more than a day or two.)

Especially for politically sensitive cases, but sometimes in simple ones,
police often jump to conclusions, and hide or ignore evidence that
would exonerate the accused, and courts usually buy there stories;
in spite of that, we keep seeing people ################
>The adversarial machine is made worse by the vast public subsidies of both
>sides, the endless delays, and the general "legalisms" used by both sides.
>As a personal note, my father was an officer in the U.S. Navy, and served
>on several courts martial. No capital murder cases, that I recall him
>mentioning, but some might serious matters. As most of you must know, the
>system is much different than the main U.S. legal system. And my father
>believes the military system is vastly more just, and quicker, and cheaper.
>A 3-man panel hears the evidence presented, asks questions, listens to
>defense points, etc., and then adjourns to reach a verdict. All in a few
>days, of course.
>No jury consultants making sure that no college graduates are on the jury,
>that enough blacks are seated, that facial expressions indicate likely
>sympathies to the defendant, etc.
>The U.S. system is corrupt. Hordes of lawyers--too many, of course--swarm
>out into the "System," inflating legal bills, billing at $200 an hour for
>the Xerox copying time of junior lawyers, and even charging lavish lunches
>to the other side. (I could cite dozens of examples...)
>Those of you who have taken McVeigh's "side" against Steven Jones should
>consider this whole situation. McVeigh, who quite clearly "did it," will
>now get a new lawyer--and his team!--to handle the appeal. More delays,
>more time billed at $300 an hour for the new top lawyer, and at $200 x 4 =
>$800 for his major assistants, and at some unknown rate for his clerks,
>secretaries, etc., all for what? So that an additional $500K or so is
>spent, with a delay now of an additional 4 to 6 months "for the new lawyers
>to familiarize themselves with the 200,000 pages of transcripts"...and so
>To what end? McVeigh did it, and only an Alice in Wonderland legalistic
>society could even doubt it for a nanosecond.
>(And in fact, we all accept this. Where's the real "outrage" that McVeigh
>is being prosecuted for a crime he didn't commit? We were outraged that
>Randy Weaver was entrapped on such a minor offense (shortening a rifle
>barrel by an inch or two), and that his wife and son were then shot in an
>ambush. We were outraged at Waco. We _are_ outraged at the treatment Abner
>Louima received in NYC. But we are not outraged at McVeigh's treatment.
>Because, as with OJ, anybody with three neurons to rub together knows he
>did it. And yet the multi-year legal charade continues.)
>--Tim May
>There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
>Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
>Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
>tcmay at  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
>W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
>Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
>"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 stewarts at
# You can get PGP outside the US at
#   (If this is a mailing list or news, please Cc: me on replies.  Thanks.)

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