WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

“WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL”

Someone once remarked, “If there is one thing that you should absolutely avoid; it would be getting involved with the criminal justice system.” A dire warning but without merit if you will, based on ones belief in the integrity of the public servants who symbolize our bureaucracy.

Generally speaking, the term criminal justice system would apply to those officials having a hand in the apprehension, trial, and sentencing of anyone accused of a crime against society. We rely on the police, prosecutor, judge, and prisons to protect our families and keep them safe. A just process from start to finish relies on a persona of absolute integrity. In its current guise, our criminal justice system fosters police, prosecutorial, and judicial misconduct. A dearth of transparency allows public officials to act with impunity as they investigate, apprehend, prosecute, sentence, and incarcerate. Nationally, wrongful conviction cases of record now exceed 4.1 %. The United States Justice Department recently released an estimate that in the state of Illinois 8% to 12% of all imprisoned people are factually or actually innocent. Undeniably, the end result of unintentional oversight or a deliberate breach of official integrity.

Our criminal justice system has evolved from a public service entity into a results-oriented business, where human lives and families are the bottom lines. Our officials are expected to be productive, to substantiate their position and secure their careers. Consequently, justice and integrity are compromised for personal motive and the wrongful convictions passed off as collateral damage.

The mandate is, through due diligence and with integrity, investigate, apprehend, prosecute, sentence and incarcerate. If this process breaks down anywhere along the way, the crime may become for the interim unsolved and at worst a cold case. Like an unsold fish on the counter of a retail grocery store, it eventually begins to stink and become noticeable. Management wants it sold or disposed of, whatever it takes. Accordingly, the best practice solution has become…

 

POLICE MALFEASANCE

A lack of talent and ability or by intentionally committing deception while investigating, interrogating or collecting evidence.

PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT

Committing Brady violations through oversight or actual subterfuge when submitting case discovery information to the defense.

INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL

Failure in a client’s defense due to a lack of incident practice, or concealment of case evidence within the discovery information provided them.

JUDICIAL INDISCRETION

A biased flow of case factum heard by the jurors; proffered by the prosecution as opposed to the defense.

David versus Goliath; best describes the plight of a family who finds themselves confronting an inept or corrupt criminal justice system. And, it’s not a level playing field. Exploiting unlimited resources, funded by the taxpayer, you are typically sent around the block until you go broke or reach the Federal level seeking assistance. Ostensibly, the average turnaround time for a wrongful conviction is 10 years; sadly many of these atrocities go on for decades.

Individuals, who manipulate the law to their own end, must be held accountable. Reparation at taxpayer expense is not a solution when by design; an innocent person is put to death or incarcerated for a crime they did not commit. Oddly enough, the remedy is found through confrontation within the very system that harbors the problem. A court of law provides an opportunity for factual discovery and accountability.

– Larry Merar