Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Judicial System

Talk About Rushing to Judgment!
Something is rotten in the state of Denmark," the famous quotation from Shakespeare's "Hamlet," may very well apply today to the United States as our system of justice comes under widespread attack. Defendents are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

Ask Not for Whom the Bell Tolls
It's great to be alive, to breathe fresh air, to hear the robins sing and see the rising sun, to be free, to be part of mankind. Life, despite trials and tribulations, is joyous; it is ethereal, evaporating, sooner or later, into, for the faithful, the heavens.

Is It Wise to Let Stew Stay in Jail?
As a society, we haven't given much thought to the way we punish criminals; we go along with the same old way it's been done for centuries; throw them in jail and forget about them.

Welcome Home Stew!

The entrepreneur whose business prowess was world acclaimed after his unmatched success in the dairy business bearing his name is out of prison after serving 44 months on a tax-fraud conviction. Stew Leonard Sr. has paid his debt to society.

All the Names If You Please

Withholding the names of women who accuse men of rape became widely discussed when the William Kennedy Smith case surfaced. Most media declared they would protect the accuser by not revealing her name and by not showing her face. The trial drew unbridled media attention.

Jury System in the U.S. Put on Trial

The American judicial system, strained by rising crime rates over the last few decades, has become a hot topic of conversation. The O.J. Simpson murder trial and the crime bill Clinton signed into law have put the system on the front burner -- and on trial.

Jury System Guilty of Complexity

Americans too often favor throwing the book at someone accused of a grievous crime -- long before the evidence is in. Wouldn't it be wiser to wait until a person is proven guilty?"

On Trial: Justice System
It would have been obscenely inappropriate while the Clinton impeachment debacle was under way for anyone to compare his "Trial of the Century" with the other one -- you remember, O.J. Simpson. But both men were entitled to a fair trial.

Use Caution in Changing the System

Stella Liebeck's $2.7 million infamous damage award in her lawsuit againt McDonald's attracted great national attention. The award, involving the spilling of hot coffee, was later reduced to below $500,000 on appeal. I wonder how many people know, or care, about that!

Break Off the Chase
To their credit, some police departments have established detailed policies covering high-speed chases of suspects in an effort to avoid the often undesirable and sometimes fatal consequences of some car chases.

Fighting Crime: Let's Not Look for Short-cuts

Too many judges decide issues on the basis of what is good for society or what disrupts "the system" the least instead of following the dictates of the Constitution. The way to change a bad law is to pass a new one, not re-interpret the Constitution.

The Law: Not a Matter of Right, Wrong

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's 1999 policy of "drive drunk, lose your car" made the New York Civil Liberties Union downright woozy. The policy, which faced a legal challenge by the CLU, is another example of officials trying to take the easy way out.

Equal Justice: Not Equal, Not Justice

Crime and punishment has always been complex. It rarely has been administered well. Dungeons and torture chambers have pretty much disappeared, but society has a long way to go to reach an intelligent, fair and just solution to the problems we face today.

It's Time for All-out War on Criminals
When we hold something sacred, we are not likely to abuse it. Whatever our age, financial status, religious beliefs, education or even ethical and moral standards, few of us are apt to bite the hand that feeds us, or to dishonor what we hold in high esteem.

Do What's Constitutional

Police officers have a tough and dangerous job -- and they deserve our support. Our support, however, should be for the law, and for giving police officers the backing they need to carry out their lawful function in relative safety.

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