Friday, July 8, 2011

"You are better off wealthy and guilty than poor and innocent"

I saw that quote today and went looking to see if I could find who originated it. Found this story. I don't know if Bryan Stevenson is the originator or not, but ran into a great story-

Called to the bars
Bryan Stevenson, a leading campaigner against injustice in the US prison system, tells Juliet Rix how Britain is in danger of imitating an American penal process that fuels crime and creates a sense of despair in poor communities

Juliet Rix
The Guardian, Wednesday 10 December 2008

...For every eight death row inmates executed, Stevenson says, one is released after his conviction is overturned. "And if there is that level of error in the death penalty courts, which are meant to be the most careful, then how many miscarriages of justice must be occurring in other courts?" he asks. A rise in wrongful conviction, Stevenson believes, is just one of the many dire results of a system of mass incarceration.

"Mass incarceration has radical implications for society - economic and social," he states. When a system is overloaded, it doesn't work well, Stevenson argues, and the business of jailing people becomes normalised (so insufficient attention is given to each case). On top of that, it is phenomenally expensive: an inmate costs an average of $30,000 (£20,000) a year, which leaves much less money for other things. Defence lawyers for poor defendants (the equivalent of legal aid) is one area that misses out, he says, with some Alabama cases limited to $500 or $1,000, when they would normally cost $20,000. "You are better off wealthy and guilty than poor and innocent." FULL STORY

Add to that a totally unconstitutional family court system of NO Due Process, and you can quickly see whats WRONG with the ease CPS can ramrod a case through on accusations, innuendo, hearsay, bogus psychiatry, and minimally motivated lawyers.

1 comment:

  1. CPS No Due Process is setting legal precedence for other courts. Nowadays you can be picked up and put in prison without any access to a lawyer, a court and held for years. Is it much different for little kids torn from their homes and thrown into bad situations that corrupt and ruin them for the rest of their lives? Then we wonder shy people do not trust the government and the courts. Indeed, "it IS better to be rich and guilty than poor and innocent ..."
    Cat in Seattle