- Posted June 16, 2014 by
Watertown, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
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U.S. Justice and Prison System is Immoral and Unjust
They claim that they are quite good at convicting only the guilty and acquitting the innocent. The majority of the public believe this is true simply because they have never been a part of the criminal system process. Unfortunately, almost all of the professionals (lawyers and judges) whose livelihoods depend on the results of this poorly designed justice system also believe that people that are in jail deserve to be there. That’s why little has been done; few of these professionals voices have been raised in dissent against the system that makes them money. Are they simply ignorant or callous and complicit?
These professional’s work produces the results of a Prison Industrial Complex in the United States that imprisons more of our citizens that any of the other countries of the World combined.
The innocent are convicted far more frequently than the public cares to believe, and far more frequently than those who operate the system dare to believe.
Innocent people in prison are as common as dandelions in your front yard. The truth is that the criminal ‘justice’ system gives most people a choice of jail for a shorter time or jail time for a longer time especially when most can’t afford more than a public defender.
With respect to our public defenders, many are good, decent people who just lack the resources to properly investigate the allegations and defend their client. This is in stark, financial comparison to the district attorney’s office who has unlimited resources at their disposal.
Faced with life in prison or ten years for a plea bargain, many choose to not risk the longer sentence. Prosecutors have entirely too much power in coercing defendants into accepting lesser prison sentences. Instead of justice for an individual that is at the wrong place, at the wrong time, the system becomes a nightmarish game of, “Let’s make a deal”.
The excuse for not allowing more to take their case to trial to prove their innocence without fear of a longer sentence should they not prevail is, “there would be too many cases that would clog the system”.
Good! Wouldn’t this force the changes in this immoral system were there to be more cases than the system could take to trial? We need considerable reforms to our justice and prison system. We need to stop and think as citizens that all people in jail may not deserve to be there.
We need to reflect and demand that current laws are just and fair so that the punishment for a breaking the law doesn’t always involve deal making which results in 5 years or life in prison. This isn’t justice.
Ultimately, we need more college graduates and less ex-prison inmates who are alienated and likely to enter the system again and again. Prisons cost $40,000 a year per prisoner and colleges are far less per student a year. What we should ask ourselves is what are we saying about ourselves as a society when we emphasize prisons over college?
And what will our future as Americans be if we continue down this unfortunate and immoral path?
We should stop convicting the innocent and allowing them to choose the lesser of two evils.