The U.S. Legal System and All Things Related Blog

With Enough People, Power, and Persistence, the System Will Improve



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The Government's Involvement in Killing Dissenters


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On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.  An hour later he died.  For nearly fifty years, the federal government has maintained that James Earl Ray was the gunman who assassinated King that day.  But within Martin Luther King’s family, there remains a strong belief that Ray is innocent, and was set up to take the fall.

Corruption Is Alive and Well in American Courts


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A judiciary without honesty has little chance of executing its moral and constitutional duties, no matter how many rules of ethics exist.  This is true in the United States, where the judiciary is afforded wide discretion.  Facts and laws require interpretation; justice and equity require judgment.  We count on honest judges to navigate our ship of justice through dangerous waters.  We expect judges to be honest because we establish institutions that incentivize honesty.  Despite the critical importance of maintaining judicial integrity, there is much to say about how commonplace corruption is in our courts.

Judge Furious with Federal Prosecutors


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It’s not often that a judge does the right thing—upholds the law, exposes corruption, or rebukes prosecutors.  In the early days of our nation, it may have been quite common.  Today, however, it’s a rarity.  It’s so rare, in fact, that this is the first in more than fifty posts we’ve published that actually commends actions rather than condemns them.

Orange County Corruption Exposed


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Two audits conducted by the Orange County sheriff’s department uncovered a pattern of filing false reports that could call into question thousands of convictions.  Deputies booked evidence days, and sometimes weeks, after it was purportedly collected according to an internal audit, which examined thousands of police reports filed between 2016 and 2018.  Thirty percent of evidence was “booked out of policy,” according to a presentation describing the first audit’s findings.  A second audit found that deputies had claimed to have collected evidence that was never booked.

States Potentially Having the Worst Judicial Systems


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In a report by the Center for Public Integrity, states were rated and ranked according to their levels of integrity.  Several factors were used in determining each state’s overall grade.  But only one factor actually affects people, although indirectly, on a daily basis—judicial accountability—and is perhaps the most important one.  Since the judicial branch of government is the only one of the three branches that directly “serves” the people on a daily basis, it is the only one wherein having corruption or dysfunction can severely and negatively impact the average person.  The map above reflects the overall integrity score.  When ranking is recalculated based upon judicial accountability, the result literally yields a completely different picture, which is as follows with numeric scores shown:

Book Exposes the Consequences of a Politicized Judiciary


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Try to talk to someone about how a court of law has engineered your financial ruin and, in so doing, has utterly ignored statutory and constitutional imperatives, and it is likely that you will be met with a blank, glazed stare.  After all, America has a good legal system, right?  Say what you will about America’s behavior in the Middle East and that nasty little torture racket at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and goodness knows where else—America’s legal system is…well….it is the best system there is.

Right?

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