Criminal Justice Reform

In a recent discussion about the need to fix our criminal justice system it occurred to me that we will have a lot of work to do that.

That is going to mean reeducating people from grade school to law school.

We can change the laws all we want to, but if we do not change the mindset behind the bad laws that have been a long time problem, we have accomplished nothing.

Over the last 40 years of dealing with Civil Rights issues, I have developed a few pet peeves.

  1. The belief that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you are arrested and charged with a criminal offense, you have already been presumed guilty. Like it or not, that is how it is.

If someone didn’t believe you were guilty, they would still be investigating

  1. When I hear an investigator say ,” I like this defendant for a crime.”.

This kind of sounds like someone betting on a racehorse at Belmont. I like HonkyTonk Rider in the seventh.

3.If you are not guilty, you don’t need an attorney. If you accept that one, hug everyone you love before you leave home. Even if you are just a material witness, you need legal counsel in my opinion.

I have a lot more but you get the point. There are areas that just make no sense as well.

We have as citizens allowed changes to our constitution by allowing politicians to make changes they either were not qualified to make or that simply sounded good to their base and who cares about the constitution.

In order to obtain a conviction for a criminal offense under our Laws a verdict of guilty must be obtained by presentment of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

OK, so what is reasonable doubt? Evidence so strong that no reasonable person can ignore it. Now, who actually tests the mental state of jurors to see if they are “reasonable” or not?

Yes, I know there are a pattern of questions that attorneys as potential jurors to see if they should be on the jury or not. So who does a mental health evaluation on the jurors to see if they are reasonable? Some attorneys should have that test too.

What is evidence that reaches the “ “beyond a doubt requirement”?

Lets see, if you get up and walk out your front door and see two feet of snow on your lawn and the trees are covered with snow and there is snow a far as you can see, I would say that is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if you did not see it snowing.

If you see it snowing, that is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

Reasonable doubt evidence is physical evidence in some sense. No physical evidence, then there is definitely reasonable doubt.

The problem as we have seen in the past, that some people believe they KNOW a suspect is guilty and they do not need evidence. However, since evidence is required, they manufacture it if they must.

If there is no physical evidence, keep digging. Your psychic powers may be faultier than you believe them to be.

Jurors should be educated on what is physical evidence and what is not, believe it or not, some do not know. They should be educated in depth about :Reasonable doubt”.. I simple instruction at the end of a trial when many jurors have already come to a conclusion is the wrong way and the wrong time to educate them.

The very first thing jurors should be told before a criminal trial begins, is that they are required not requested to base a verdict of guilt on a evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. They should be given a number of examples to explain what is legally meant by reasonable.

It may sound to some people like I am angry and they would be completely right.

However, they would probably never guess who I am angry at.

I am angry at citizens who ignore their responsibility to vote. Those who think their vote does not matter and those who just don’t give a damn.

Well, just so you know, it isn’t just your vote you are throwing away when you don’t vote. It can very well be your liberty. Or that of a family member or friend.

When you ignore your responsibility to vote, you put the rights and freedoms of every single American in jeopardy.

Go Vote !