“Law and Order”, the Media continues to Destroy and Distort American Jurisprudence

Via the many television shows in America today the ones that draw many viewers are the brand of so-called law and order shows.

However rather than show how the laws of the US should be interpreted and used they dramatize how to Abuse the law and how it is abused within our legal system. Nightly many US citizens watch these television shows and applaud how they rid the streets of our country of criminals who are the scourge of society. They implant in us that abuse of the law by those who are called to enforce it is to be commended not that it is an appalling abuse of the criminal justice system on which this country was founded.

The actors in these shows should not win awards; they should be ashamed that for the sake of a job and astronomical salaries they will sell-out the American judicial system. They can only be commended for showing on a nightly basis how many law enforcement authorities abuse our legal system to further their careers and salaries.

The founding fathers of this great nation created what was called “The Bill of Rights” and “The United States Constitution”. Of course these founding documents are trampled on a daily basis in this county.

By our own standards as published by the Department of Justice crime has been and continues to fall, as it has for over the last 10 years. Yet the American public cannot get enough of these television dramatic events as they trample the rights of the US citizens they so pledge to uphold.

It’s utterly amazing how in one short hour they solve crimes that would take months if not years to prosecute. They also show the many illegal tactics taken in the name of justice; Miranda is a joke to these producers of this TV trash. Warrant-less searches, questionable court orders and withholding information useful to the defense as required by law. The railroading of many innocent US citizens into the judicial system while destroying countless lives, the defendants and their children and loved ones. All for the sake of ratings and advertising dollars, yet the American public continues to buy this charade as fact.

A full 18% of those housed in our Federal and State penitentiaries are mentally ill thanks to the US governments closing of countless mental health facilities. Approximately 65% held in our jails are awaiting trials; guilty or innocent is of no consequence. Over 2.2 million of our populace are in our jails today without adequate legal representation as most are poor from lower socio-economic classes lacking the resources of their rich American counterparts or the states that prosecute them with our tax dollars.

If all of the citizens in the system today were to use their Miranda rights and exercise their right to trial the American justice system would ground to halt in short order. The district attorneys know this so they offer plea deals at an astronomical pace. The defendants who lack the financial power to adequately defend themselves accept these deals and become part of the system, guilty or innocent. Most of those housed in our prisons are of African American decent and our incarcerated thanks in part to our Draconian drug laws which rob this county of $60 billion dollars a year in the case of the war on drugs which has already been lost.

Nearly six in 10 persons in state prison for a drug offense have no history of violence or high-level drug dealing. The drug offenders in US prisons and jails has increased 1100% since 1980, almost half a million of those incarcerated in federal and state prisons are there for a drug offense. African Americans constitute 37% of those arrested for drugs and 56% of the inmates in state prison systems, yet African Americans only compromise 14% of the USA’s drug users. Most if not all African American citizens serve as much time in federal prison for drug offenses (58.7 months) as their white counterparts serve for violent drug offenses.

Since 1980 drug arrests in the USA have more than tripled thanks to the Reagan administration. In 2005 81.7% of drug arrests were for possession and 18.3% were for sales. Marijuana arrests increased from 1990 to 2005 by 113% and they accounted for 42.6% of the drug arrests in the 2005 calendar year. It is also worth noting that 79% of the arrests attributed to the 1990 period were for marijuana possession.

It is worth noting that a recent substance abuse program in California came to the conclusion that for every dollar spent on treatment resulted in a savings of seven dollars in reduced crime. This along with a recent RAND analysis where spending One Million to expand  the mandatory use of sentencing guidelines would reduce drug consumption by 13 kilograms, spending the same amount on treatment would reduce consumption by 100 kilograms.

Still many of our prisons are now run by private entities and they need inmates to stay profitable. So a vicious cycle is commenced upon and the legal system of the US obliges by sending more and more US citizens to the hell we call our prison system. Many of these private prisons have been shut down after abuses were found. Yet they still receive subsidies and tax free bonds to create their money making warehouses for the disenfranchised of the USA. You can even purchase stock for these private entities and make a good profit from their abuse of these unfortunate human beings.

So what will happen now, well you might read this information and then grab your television remote and tune into the latest Law and Order program. Or maybe you will wake up and realize that a time for change has come and you will attempt to see that it does. I only pray the citizens of this country will call for the latter, although I do not hold out much hope.

Note: I have never been involved with or had the unfortunate consequences of having to deal with the legal system of the United States and have been game-fully employed with the same corporation for over 25 years and I am also a white male. I do however have a conscience and hope for a better society where we don’t just throw away those that we no longer care for, what about you?


About Slowdecline's articles on current issues facing us today
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