The purpose of the courts is not justice or truth, but a verdict
Antiphon, the Sophist (c. 480-411 BC) on Justice.
"Justice is just a matter of not breaking the laws (nomoi) in your city. You'll make the most of justice for yourself if you respect the laws in the presence of witnesses, but just do what comes naturally (by nature or physis) when alone, with no witnesses present. Because the laws are extra additions, but nature is necessary; the laws come from convention, not from natural growth, whereas the requirements of nature come from natural growth, not from convention. If those who made the conventions do not notice a person breaking the law, then he is free from disgrace and penalty, but not if they do notice him. But if, contrary to possibility, you violate any of the things innate by nature, the evil is no less if no one notices you and no greater if all observe. For you do not suffer harm as a result of opinion, but as a result of truth.
"Now, if some advantage came from the laws for those who submitted to these conditions and some disadvantage to those who do not submit but resist, obedience to the laws would not be unhelpful. But as things are, it is obvious that the justice that stems from law is not sufficient to rescue those who submit. In the first place, it permits the one who suffers to suffer and the wrongdoer to do wrong, and justice was not at the time of the wrongdoing able to prevent either the sufferer from suffering or the wrongdoer from doing wrong. And when the case is brought to trial, there is no special advantage for the one who has suffered over the wrongdoer. For he must persuade the jury that he suffered and that he is able to exact the penalty. And it is open to the wrongdoer to deny it...."
The great American Henry David Thoreau in his great essay Civil Disobience went further and stated that one should break laws even if there are witnesses. He argued that you have a moral obligation to break laws even if you suffer the consquences. Out founding fathers took a much more radical view that one should violently overthrow the government if one disagrees with its laws. Thomas Jefferson proposed recurring revolutions as the only mechanism of liberty. The greatest enemy of the rule of law are governments that make a multiplicity of laws.
Improving Access to Justice
Jury Reform and Nullification
PROTECTING AGAINST AN ENTRENCHED, DYNASTIC BUREAUCRACY
Self-explanatory. Both life tenure and term limits address the issue of protecting judges from pressure. Term limits cycle judges out faster than death and getting rid of bad judges is much more important than retaining good ones.
There also has to be a ready mechanism for recall and removal. "The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall only hold their Offices during good Behavior...." US Constitution, Art III. Section 1. The Congress could just get rid of all the inferior judges and start from scratch.
WITHOUT QUALIFIED AND CAPABLE JUDGES (which means removal of bad judges), PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE COURTS IS ERODED AND THE RULE OF LAW CANNOT EXIST
"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."
"Woe to those who decree unjust statutes and to those who continually record unjust decisions, to deprive the needy of justice, and to rob the poor of My people of their rights..."
Isaiah 10 vs 1-2
It's not that elections are panaceas, but the knowledge by judges that they are being scrutinized engenders a certain self-regulation which is all to the good. Judges must be held accountable. Elections are more rational than political appointments because broader factors are taken into consideration and the selectors are more impartial. The four methods of selection are: 1. Executive appointment. 2. Legislative appointment. 3. Appointment by commission. 4. Election. legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform
3. END JUDICIAL DICTATORSHIP OR IMPERIAL JUDICIARY
A doctrine unique to the American system is the review of legislative actions by the courts. This quite often results in judges making law and rescinding law contrary to the popular will of the people. Bad decisions, which are endemic to the system, have their greatest consequences in this area. Examples are the recent Hawaii decision to allow gay marriages and the stay of prop 209, the anti-discrimination initiative in California. Some judges have ordered tax increases in some communities - classic taxation without representation. There has to be a mechanism to override bad law by judges. A two-thirds vote of the legislature is an appropriate level to revoke judicial decisions. Citizens' initiative petitions to put the issue on the ballot is another avenue. As Teddy Roosevelt recommended in his 1912 presidential campaign -- let the nation decide at the next election whether to uphold or reject any Court decision creating a new "right" or overturning a state or federal law. "It is the people and not the judges who are entitled to say what the Constitution means," said T.R., "for the Constitution is theirs, it belongs to them and not to their servants in office." legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform, legal, reform
4. DISQUALIFY LAWYERS FROM JUDGESHIP
This is a built-in conflict of interest: 60 o/o of Americans are denied equal justice under law
As long as we have lawyers as judges, we will not have justice in America. What kind of system can work with political hacks appointing legal hacks. Lawyers deserve their reputation of being low-lifes and as scummy as used-car salesmen. Lawyers tend to be dishonest and lie because they know the system - they know that lying and cheating and perjury work. Lawyers know that perjury isn't prosecuted and they pass that on to their clients. This habit and culture is perhaps made worse by the adversarial system. Cynicism is simply knowing the facts. We need to break that culture. By limiting the pool of candidates for judge to lawyers, we end with only sleazebags on the bench. These sleaszebags have an agenda - the furtherance of the interests of lawyers. Just as lawyers screw you, ex-lawyers on the bench do it too. That is simply their modus operandi or nature. In other words, they have the same lack of regard for you. Lawyer/Judges do their utmost to damage pro se or self-represented litigants. With 60 percent of the population unable to afford lawyers, that means the majority of citizens cannot get justice because there is a lawyer on the bench. Judges shill for lawyers because those are their buddies, culture, and system which they were a part of, accept, and may return to. In a courtroom one lawyer wears a black robe and he scratches the other lawyers' backs. Lawyers are not legal experts, they are not trained in many areas of law: tax judges/lawyers know a fraction of tax law that CPA's and tax-preparers that come before them do; family law lawyers/judges are not social workers; juvenile law judges are not psychologists; technical subjects like patents, copyrights, trade secrets, medical malpractice and psychiatry are well beyond the competence of lawyer/judges. Fairness and diligence are most required in judges and is frequently missing in lawyer/judges. The system is of lawyers, by lawyers and for lawyers. Getting lawyers off the bench is the most important reform and the only chance we have of putting justice before the economic interests of lawyers.
If lawyers are the worst pond scum, even lower than used car salesmen and ex-husbands, how is it that when these lawyers become judges that they are deified? Does a miraculous transformation occur? When you go to court you will only find lawyers - one of them wearing a black robe. Justice is a sham, it is not even what they are about - lawyers as judges are only interested in furthering the cartel. Law is a money-making machine. Lawyer/judges have a built-in conflict of interest - they are never going to let a pro se person win no matter how right he is, because to allow justice in such a case would be the end of the cartel - it would demonstrate that lawyers are superfluous. The emperor would be shown without clothes and their whole profession - everything the judges invested their lives in - would be diminished. Clearly legal incomes would be at risk. Lawyer/judges favor high status law firms and lawyers because those are their reference group - the people whose good opinion they seek; it advances the profession. So cases get decided on how expensive your lawyer is, never on the merits of your case. The social pressure on them is overwhelming. You can imagine the abuse they would get from the fraternity, if they ruled against a lawyer in favor of a non-lawyer (because in the end, economic interests are involved). Hypocrisy is confused with ideals like "fairness", "equality before the law" and "justice". Don't believe the hype. If you don't understand that the system is not about 'justice', try it. Try one lawsuit and you will learn a lot. We have a diseased system, which is rotten at the core and the core is lawyers. We are ruled by a tyranny of brazenly self-serving lawyers who have not only written the rules, but enforce them and then rule on their own ethics in enforcing them. Bringing balance by restraining lawyers is important.
An inside look at the Supreme Court Closed Chambers by one of its former law clerks Ed Lazarus came out in 1998. He writes: justices "resort to transparently deceitful and hypocritical arguments and factual distortions as they discard judicial philosophy ... in favor of bottom-line results." If anything, it is worse on appellate courts and with judges because they have less scrutiny. Anyone who has been in court will recognize the truth of what Lazarus writes - judges decide on whim or status who they want to win and truth and justice have nothing whatever to do with it. An early 1998 survey of civil lawsuits in four states by the Kansas City Star, found 57 examples of judges deciding cases where they had a financial interest in one of the litigants. That was about 17 percent of the time. The judges even admitted it but said they were too busy or blamed their staff. Those are excuses that would never work if you were guilty of breaking the law or ethical violations. The problem of corruption in judges is so constant that it is the reason that the English adopted the jury system. People have more faith in twelve average people. Unfortunately, in America judges can override jury decisions and manipulate them through jury instructions.
"The abilities required in a good interpreter of the law, that is to say, in a good judge, are not the same with those of an advocate; namely the study of laws...The things that make a good judge, or a good interpreter of the laws, are, first, a right understanding of that principal law of nature called equity; which depending not on the reading of other men's writings, but on the goodness of a man's natural reason, and meditation, is presumed to be in those most, that have the most leisure, and had the most inclination to meditate thereon. Secondly, contempt of unnecessary riches and preferments. Thirdly, to be able in judgment to divest himself of all fear, anger, hatred, love, and compassion. Fourthly, and lastly, patience to hear; diligent attention in hearing; and a memory to retain, digest, and apply what he hath heard." Thomas Hobbes, 1651
WHY LAWYER/JUDGES ARE INCOMPETENT. It is not just that mediocre people go into law; good lawyers make too much money to accept the lower pay of judgeships. Therefore, only mediocre lawyers are in the pool to select from. By broadening the pool of candidates, we can have better judges.
IMPROVING ACCESS TO JUSTICE
DEALING WITH LAWYERS IS LIKE DEALING WITH SATAN
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." Shakespeare in King Henry VI, Part II, Act IV.
Access to justice is the paramount goal to be served and when in doubt or conflict this goal has priority over possible harm from unskilled or unethical providers (keep in mind how unethical and unskilled most lawyers are). Lawyers use regulation as a cartel mechanism to restrict trade. Lawyers are not affordable and may not be available. In 1989 the Consortium and Tulane Law School sponsored the Conference on Access to Justice in the 1990's, issuing its report titled Civil Justice: An Agenda for the 1990s. The Conference found that access to legal services by low- and moderate-income persons had not been significantly enhanced despite recent technological advances and the previous decade's experimentation with legal advertising, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, national and local legal clinics, lawyer referral and information services, and a variety of prepaid legal plans. The Conference "strongly supported the relaxation of current barriers to the involvement of non-attorneys in the provision of legal assistance and called for careful experimentation with lay advocacy programs to determine whether and how much such representation will increase access to the legal system."
1. SELF LAW
We have entered the information age. There are plenty of computer programs and self-help books containing legal forms from contacts to wills to trusts. (Probate reform is absolutely necessary - what a racket! Lawyers take a percentage of the gross estate for routine work, most of which is against the interests of the heirs) This trend toward self-lawyering and Artificial Intelligence lawyer programs will continue and should be encouraged. Anyone of average IQ should be able to handle all their own legal work. Expert systems to replace lawyers for most legal tasks is being pushed by Speaker Newt Gingrich.
2. MORE ARBITRATION AND SMALL CLAIMS - ELIMINATE LAWYERS FROM THE PROCESS
[Lawyers] have an economic interest in cultivating and prolonging conflict. This means they are fundamentally at odds with the purposes of the legal system. Courts and lawyers exist only to explain and enforce the rules society sets for itself--and settle disputes arising from these rules. . . . The trouble is that lawyers' well-being runs in the opposite direction. The more conflict, the better. The more cumbersome and ambiguous society's rules, the better.
Robert J. Samuelson
The limits in small claims courts should be raised to allow more cases to be heard there. Arbitration should be more encouraged and routes to it more formalized.
PRIVATE LAW - POLYCENTRIC LAW. The most exciting idea is to get rid of the state monopoly on the law altogether.
Leon Fuller explains: If the law is considered as "the enterprise of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules," [Fuller's definition] then this enterprise is being conducted, not on two or three fronts, but on thousands. Engaged in this enterprise are those who draft and administer rules governing the internal affairs of clubs, churches, schools, labor unions, trade associations, agricultural fairs, and a hundred and one other forms of human association ... there are in this country alone "systems of law" numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
Gustave de Molinari was probably the first legal theorist who dared to argue that under the state's monopoly of law: Justice becomes slow and costly, the police vexatious, individual liberty is no longer respected, [and] the price of security is abusively inflated and inequitably apportioned ...
The concept is to have all contracts include the name of an arbiter and eliminate criminal law. Back in old Anglo-Saxon England there was no crime against the state but all crimes were settled by the victims and the perpetrators before private courts.
Attorneys paid a percentage of total jury awards become a party to the suit, a self-interested claimant acting under the guise of justice. This has an undue tendency to promote litigation for the benefit of the promoter rather than the litigant. It compromises the proper administration of justice because the litigant receives dramatically less than the jury decided he was entitled to by sharing it with his lawyer - which may be called half or semi-justice. Contingency fees, which were originally argued to increase access to justice, by driving up the value of attorneys' time, actually put justice out of reach for more people. It has led to unseemly aberrations like ambulance chasing. The ABA has determined that there is no possible ethical abuse of contingency fees (normally 1/3 to 40 percent of settlement), even if the lawyer violates his legal fiduciary duties to his client. In 1996, there was a Prop 202 in CA to limit unearned and massively overcharged contingency fees in cases of early settlements where lawyers did little or nothing. The entire legal community rose up to defeat it. Diminished litigation would affect them. All fee agreements over 1000 dollars should be in writing and there must be some chance that a contingency fee may not be collected otherwise the lawyer is just fleecing his client by charging more than his hourly rate.
4. DEREGULATION - ANY PARTY REPRESENTED BY ANYONE
Do the actual benefits to the public of regulation outweigh likely negative consequences (for example, the high costs of lawyers and the protection of incompetent lawyers)? Are there any benefits to regulation? The answer to the problem of too many lawyers is, ironically, more lawyers! There is no reason for lawyers to spend seven years in college learning the little that they learn. Lawyers could get the same training in a six month paralegal course. Now consider the world flooded with lawyers - bad lawyers couldn't make a living, average lawyers would have to get by on modest salaries because of the competition. Only the good lawyers would be well paid and that is as it should be. The quality of legal services would go up, the prices would go down and even the poor would be able to get "justice" or at least legal advice. Break the cartel by deregulation, decertification and allowing paralegals to practice law. Also, the rules of court should be relaxed those who represent themselves. Now there is an extreme bias against them (I know - I have represented myself in magistrates court, state and federal district court, state supreme court and federal appeals court - I have yet to find justice). Currently there are 100 million lawsuits pending - empowering everyone to be a lawyer couldn't make things worse. Montana has such a law (MCA paragraph 25-31-61) from 1871 that allows any party to be represented by anyone. It is true that the public would be in a "buyer beware" situation if the practice of law were de-regulated, but (1) the paramount goal is the access to justice and (2) the current system has the evil that incompetents hide behind certification. On balance, a market system is always preferable to a regulatory system because the latter does not work and the false sense of security in regulation is an actual evil.
TECHNOLOGY VOIDS UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE LAWS
A recent California Appeals Court ruling about a CO lawyer in CO selling CA legal services was: "We doubt, however, that the legislature is authorized to prevent an unlicensed person in NY or Zurich from plying CA law or transmitting legal communications to anyone within the state so long as the unlicensed person remains outside the state and we suspect that such a policy, if it could be enforced would prove as frustrating and expensive for consumers of legal services as for purveyors." (Condon v. McHenry, June 27, 1997, 64 Cal Rptr 2nd 789) In other words, anyone can sell legal advice to anyone, anywhere, as long as they remain outside the state of the consumer. This is nearly total deregulation of law, which now can be profitably plied over the internet and even globally. Most law is transactional - advice, contracts, taxes, wills, trusts, etc. Only litigation requires a local lawyer if you want representation. This should dramatically lower legal costs and disempower lawyers. It is the virtual end of unlicensed practice laws. Hopefully, trust-mills will set up on the internet to dramatically reduce obscene wills and probate profits for lawyers. Trusts can cut lawyers and judges totally out of the estate picture. Wills and estates are the backbone of many law practices. As for litigation: filings, motions, strategy, interrogatories, checklists, lists of questions for witnesses, crafted opening and closing arguments, appeal briefs, and basically everything but the actual appearance in court can be sold out of state by anyone to help self-represented persons hold costs and get justice. (The fundamental problem is that even with juries, which you must request within 10 days from filing your suit, lawyer/judges make vigorous efforts to deny justice to self-represented persons.)
5. COMPLAIN ABOUT LAWYER PROTECTION RACKETS
Abolish self-regulation of lawyers. In Iowa, we have a couple of lawyer protection commissions set up by the Supreme Court to secretly hear complaints against lawyers and judges. This process must be open and their files muyst be open for public inspection. Unfortunately, many lawyers are present on these commissions which allows them to subvert the process and protect their own - you can not let foxes watch the chicken coup. In this case, you cannot let lawyers have a major or deciding say in regulating themselves. Peer review doesn't work in this important instance. The criteria or standards these commissions apply are not such as to require expert knowledge but rather character and common sense. Having a lawyer judge ethics is like having a blind man judge The Miss America Pageant when his daughter is a contestant. The process they use is a closed box - you file a complaint and then the lawyer answers but the complainer never gets to see what the lawyer said. The advantage for lawyers is that they can then say any lie and the advantage to the lawyer protection racket is that their judgment can not be gainsaid: no one knows what info they had when they made their final judgment. A 1993 national commission found that 95 percent of all complaints against federal judges were dismissed summarily by other federal judges put in place to review them. At the state level, NY is supposed to have the nation's top oversight organization. Over 85 percent of complaints are dismissed without investigation. Since they have a cartel and regulate themselves, you might expect that they would recognize the high responsiblity. No, the issue of whether clients are well served never concerns them. They never punish lawyers who violate fiduciary duty laws. The American legal system is simply a money making machine. The whole argument for cartel and licensing restrictions was to guarantee quality of legal services, but these moral lepers demonstrate what a fraud that argument is by showing they don't even care whether customers are ripped off, cheated, or receive any legal value at all. Failure to regulate clearly shows that the rationalization for the cartel was at its core a fraud, a way to cheat the public. The CA Bar receives 140,000 hotline complaints a year and 'investigates' 15,000 allegations of attorney misconduct. This shows how well licensing works - the state should not put its seal of approval on these sleazebags, but rather let buyers beware. At least it would cost consumers less when they get fleeced, they would have more choice and they would be forewarned.
THE BAR ASSOCIATION AND HYPOCRISY
The bar association always forgives its own. I have made several complaints about lawyers to both my local and state bars and they did not even answer.
Here are some legal profession ethical canons:
CANON 1. A lawyer should assist in maintaining the integrity and competence of the legal profession. As if it had any.
CANON 2. A lawyer should assist the legal profession in fulfilling its duty to make legal counsel available. The ABA in a 1995 report states that they are failing miserably with poor people practically unrepresented and moderate income people unrepresented more than 60 precent of the time.
CANON 3. A lawyer should assist in preventing the unauthorized practice of law. This is the only canon that lawyers zealously adhere to. As noted above, it is obsolete.
CANON 7. A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law. Lawyers tend to either ignore this in favor of a quick buck, I mean settlement, or carry it to extremes of lying and illegal coaching of witnesses and parties.
CANON 9. A lawyer should avoid even the appearance of professional impropriety. Right.
Some ideas: eliminate exemptions from jury duty, eliminate pre-emptory challenges - just take the first 12 jurors; let the jurors ask questions of witnesses; let the jurors see the statute that they are judging on: the only notice the accused could have had is the statute and the jury has to factor that into consideration. This business of jury instructions is the primary way judges and lawyers subvert the jury process. The first instruction should be the statute and the second should be 'if any following instruction conflicts with the statute - ignore the instruction and base your decision on the statute.' Juries need to be informed of the ideas of jury nullification. Allow less than unanimous verdicts, but no less than 11-1. That will prevent one crazy person from holding up the system, but care must be taken not to lower standards too much because it would result in lots of false convictions. Probably a good way to handle it is to make unanimous verdicts inviolate but less than unanimous verdicts overturnable by judges.
"The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy."
John Jay, 1st Chief Justice
United States supreme Court, 1789
"The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts."
Samuel Chase, U.S. supreme Court Justice,
1796, Signer of the unanimous Declaration
"the jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact."
Oliver Wendell Holmes,
U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1902
"The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided."
Harlan F. Stone, 12th Chief Justice
U.S. Supreme Court, 1941
"The pages of history shine on instance of the jury's exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge..."
U.S.vs Dougherty, 473 F 2nd 113, 1139, (1972)
Allowing statements to the court by victims or their families before sentencing and allowing victims to have a role in any possible plea bargain process are steps that should be taken.
CONCLUSION: IN FEAR OF AMERICAN JUSTICE - THE SYSTEM HAS NO LEGITIMACY
OJ. Menendez brothers. William Kennedy Smith. Rodney King. Either Bobbit. Why do we have such an idealized view of American justice? The saying is that it is not perfect but that it is the best justice system in the world. Show me a worse one. Does anyone believe that the Swiss, Japanese or Germans have a worse system than we do? How can anyone believe the press about our justice system when policemen can get away with shooting or beating to death black motorists, as routinely happens?
Use the political process to reform the judicial system.
Write/call the House Judiciary Committee
write letters to the editor
call talk radio
put ads in the papers
hand out flyers
shame bad judges
expose bad lawyers, write about them to the governor
rate lawyers in your community and publish the list (list their specialities too) There is a national rating service, Martingdale and Hubbel, that has lawyers rate other lawyers in their communities on a scale of A to C and publishes it in books. Add D and F.
get involved at the state level, write, call, organize, talk to candidates about your concerns. The state level is where lawyers are certified.
file ethics complaints against lawyers and judges and get publicity for them, put them online.
join groups like some of those below
publish your horror stories
We need judicial watchdog groups to rate judges and lawyers.
talk to your friends and relatives.
This is a political fight - use every political means. We can change the laws - we control the purse. If there are enough of us, we can make those dogs kneel, but it is an uphill fight because many lawmakers are lawyers. But it is a fight we will win because we have the right and we have the ultimate power.
Justice is a word without substance.
Laws are like spider webs: they hold the weak and vulnerable in their meshes and are torn to pieces and asunder by the rich and powerful. Anacharsis, 5th century B.C.
A law which is unjust is a law in name only. St. Augustine
There is nothing more subject to perpetual agitation than the laws. Montaigne
There is no justice, either in or out of court. Clarence Darrow, world's most famous lawyer
"Every law or rule of conduct must lay down or rest upon some general principle, and must therefore, if it succeeds in attaining its end, commend this principle to public attention or imitation, and thus affect legislative opinion... The true importance, indeed, of laws lies far less in their direct result than in the effect upon the sentiments or convictions of the public." - A.V. Dicey
Courts are constantly making ex post facto Law and thus are excercising a highly unpopular power. John Chipman Grey in his The Nature and Sources of the Law (1909) states "the Law, except for a few crude notions of equity involved in some of its general principles, is all ex post facto. (p 97)" People don't have the vaguest notion of what the law is and "the Law of which man has no knowledge is the same to him as if it did not exist." And if a case comes up in which there seems to be no law or precedent, the judge makes a rule of law for the occasion. "That rule is the Law, yet the duties and rights of the parties were not known and not knowable by them." That is how the courts treat their victims. Thus the true lawgiver is not one who utters the words of the law but "whoever hath an absolute authority to interpret any written or spoken laws..."
For all words are subject to ambiguity; and therefore multiplication of words in the body of law is multiplication of ambiguity. (which leads to injustice and many unnecessary processes) -Thomas Hobbes. Unnecessary laws are not good laws.
And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning,
wound for wound, stripe for stripe. God, Exodus 21:23-25
This may be called the law of nature or equity.
JUSTICE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LAW OR JUDICIARY
"As for adopting the ways of the State has provided for remedying the evil, I know not of such ways. They take too much time, and a man's life will be gone. I have other affairs to attend to. I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad. A man has not everything to do, but something; and because he cannot do everything, it is not necessary that he should be petitioning the Governor or the Legislature any more than it is theirs to petition me; and if they should not hear my petition, what should I do then?
...When oppression is organized we are a nation of slaves.
...Moreover, any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already."
Henry David Thoreau in On the Duty of Civil Disobedience 1849
To give false judgment is a greater crime: because not only he has wrong, that falls by such judgments, but all judgments are rendered useless, and occasion ministered to force and private revenges. -Thomas Hobbes
Our country was founded on the right to revolution - with very little tolerance for injustice. The law books say that as important as justice is the appearance of justice. I say that if the courts were just, they wouldn't need to think about appearances. A large part of the reason there are appeal courts is to sucker the victims of the first round into thinking they have recourse. They don't, since the appeal is a greater farce than the trial - the courts have a stated bias to uphold the lower court and a real bias to scratch their friends and colleagues' backs. Most appeals court rulings are written by law clerks who are 2nd year law students. Oral arguments are almost never heard, because the appeals court does not want to even know what the case is about - they make form letter rulings without even reading the case. Not hearing the case also saves time. Vigilantes are often condemned apparently only because they sometimes make fact-finding errors. They are vigorously attacked because law-enforcement officials resent the implication that they can't do their jobs. But often the police don't do their job and often courts make errors. Where then is justice? And if injustice is rampant - doesn't that loose the bonds of society? Any criticism of vigilantes must be doubled back when the system errs - with greater force since judges and police are on the public payroll and have sworn a duty to perform. Isn't vigilantism the moral equivalent of citizen's arrest, ie.. a citizen being a police officer, a citizen executing the law? Isn't it a duty? If facts are clear (O.J. for example) and justice isn't served, what are the objections to vigilantism? If someone executed OJ, is anyone going to argue that they made a fact-finding error, that they didn't find the real killer? That justice in the sense of equity was not served? Should we have an ombudsman, to cleanup after our shoddy judiciary?
WE NEED MORE JUSTICE. When it fails, it should be fixed and ignored until it is fixed. For more harm can come from a bad system that fails everyone again and again than from random individual acts outside a system. Criminal law was set up to institutionalize revenge. The idea is to replace the revenge of the victim and his family with the revenge of the state. There are several good reasons for doing that: to make proper factual determinations of who is responsible and the appropriate penalty, to end the cylce of revenge which could otherwise extend through time, and to protect the weak who may not have the means of revenge. However, the American justice system fails on all counts and seems not to even understand its purpose. It has been subverted by lawyers who care only about themselves and their profession.
What is a judiciary without justice? What is a legal system without truth? If you are wronged in court, you must become an angel of justice...
To see an example of blatant injustice as well as the destruction of the US Constitution see: The End of Free Speech
Addresses the issues of legal abuse, and actions that may help activate the reformation of certain aspects of our legal process. This site gives readers a chance to submit their own articles and sound off about judicial and legal abuse.