In the list below, I acknowledge that my information on the “legal” system is based wholly on media-disseminated information — approximately half from newspapers and live news, and the rest from TV and movies and John Grisham books. Basically, I take exception to quite a few facets of the U.S. legal system.
- the concept of diplomatic immunity
- tossing out illegally obtained evidence
- the mistrial
- consecutive sentences
- plea bargains
- paid expert witnesses
- the notion that everyone should be able to “have his day in court”
Diplomatic immunity — at least, for criminal matters — is sheer stupidity. If one lives in a land, he or she should be subject to laws that aren’t esoteric or irrational.
We ought to find other ways to discourage illegal evidence-obtaining processes than throwing evidence out. If it’s evidence, it’s evidence, and it ought to be admissible.
I don’t understand where anyone got the idea of a mistrial. Things either are, or are not, illegal, and errors in trial proceedings should not affect penalties.
Assigning consecutive sentences seems to cloud things, inviting confusion and the lack of correlation of the crime and the sentence. Why not just add things up and give a criminal one appropriate sentence?
Plea bargains virtually guarantee injustice. I know (according to John Grisham and Jack Bauer of “24,” at least) it would be difficult to catch really bad guys if almost-as-bad guys aren’t given “deals,” but something is wrong with the system.
Having paid expert witnesses as parties to litigation leads to corruption and untold escalation of costs.
Next — and here, I will lose most of my readers, if I haven’t already — I have to confess that I suspect the very institution of the trial by jury of peers is needlessly aggrandized, if not ill-conceived from the get-go.
Finally: the woman who sued McDonald’s for the hot coffee spill in her lap ought to have taught us all that not only is a “day in court” not guaranteed, but the very idea is sometimes completely irrational.
P.S. I’m glad God’s system is no longer built on legal technicalities or legalities of any kind, really!