The USA Justice System is Broken

Posted Nov 01, 2010

Yep, that's right. According to my understanding of Reality, the Justice system of the USA is broken.

Well, by "broke" I mean it wasn't really designed well enough to offer consistent, long term satisfactory results.

Not that it really had a chance to begin with. When the USA was established, it did not start with a clean slate when it designed its justice system. Those people borrowed heavily from the system they knew best: The English system of Common Law. They took the main concept and structure, and adjusted the specific laws they wanted to work with to begin with. However, the flaw I am worried about is in the structure upon which all our laws sit.

When a criminal legal decision must be determined by the courts, there are two groups that present the information: The prosecution and the defense. One who's job it is to try to prove guilt, and the latter who tries to prove innocence.

And therein lay the problem: Two competing groups trying to prove pre-determined conclusions.

This setup produces a competition that encourages both sides to "win", regardless of the truth. Even when the wrong person is accused of a crime, the prosecution will try with all their power and use every technique to prove that they are guilty. And the defense tries to prove all their clients are innocent. Even when the information shows the person is clearly guilty, the defense uses every legal trick possible to avoid any punishment, or at least reduce it a lot.

See? The prosecution and defense teams aren't concerned with Reality. they simply adjust based on the current "game" the are playing and try to "win", regardless of Truth.

This setup is designed to birth legal teams who put most of their effort on studying legal precedents, loopholes, tricks, jury selection psychology, and every other thing, except for the actual details of the case. Those are given the least amount of concern. Those are merely the details of the latest contest. It is, however, those details that matter most, as they are literally the details of the people involved.

I can give examples based simply on the latest famous legal criminal cases that have occurred. (Think Court TV) as well as example from less known cases. However, that's not necessary. We all know cases that clearly show the "game of the legal court". Many (all?) of our lives have been altered by it.

So what's the solution? Well, there may be many, but here's my version of a justice system I'd like to see.

The New Justice System

The main difference is that instead of Prosecution and Defense, those jobs are now run by two separate teams of investigators. Their job is to independently research the case, and find as many of the true facts as possible. Each team presents their findings to the judge and jury. They give the information without any pre-determined status. Both sets of investigators interview the people in front of the judge and jury, just as the prosecution/defense would. The judge ensures all legal precedings are followed properly. The jury, (consisting of people living within the community where the supposed crime was done) after hearing both sets of presentations, are allowed to ask questions, if they feel some data is bothering them. Afterward, they adjourn to debate and determine guilt/innocence. Then the judge determines any punishment, as needed.

Those that believe their side is correct, can and will hire their own attorney investigative team. Under this system, law firms now, instead of competing on who can win or lose, now compete on which ones are proved better at finding the true facts of any case. Those law firm that are best at research, will get the better clients. And for those situations when neither can afford attorneys, of course both investigative teams will be paid for by the state.

There it is. Some details may need to be altered or adjusted, but the main point is this: Two separate investigative teams. No dedicated prosecution. No dedicated defense.

If you have any way to improve this change, let me know.

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