Submitted by Blurp2
on June 16, 2022 at 6:18 PM in Whiteness
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Reply to comment by Styx in Eliminating Whiteness by Blurp2
Hmm. I wonder.
Would it interest you to know that anarchy rules our legal system, here in America? True. The legal system is dominated by practicing anarchists - they don't admit it of course, but they are - whose decisions about the fates of everyone who enters the legal system as an Accused Person are governed by only the most tangential relationship to anything a legislature cooked up, as punishment for crime.
So you see the law has a great deal to do with anarchy, in this country. Does that interest you?
I should have said, anarchy rules our system of CRIMINAL law. A University of Chicago professor of law named Zimring did a study, back in 1976, of how homicides in Philadelphia were disposed in 1970. 85% of the perpetrators as identified by the police got 2y or less; 15% got 5y or more. We use the plea bargaining system more today than we did then. Every year, thousands go to prison who, if they had trials, would be walking free; every year, thousands walk free who, if they had trials, would be doing long stretches in prison. That's what I mean by anarchy. No legislature designed this system; our system as designed presumes that people get trials when they are accused. In fact, however, they don't.
uh what's going on in criminal court is the system working as intended.
intended by who, you? Part of the legislature's job is to design the criminal court system. They did. This ain't it.
If this isn't the system working as intended then why hasn't the legislature fixed it? Is this the system they designed? No, but they seem entirely content to do absolutely nothing about it so we're left to conclude that according to the people with power to do anything this is fine.
Well, I hate to admit it, but I've been wrestling with that question myself. It's a good point. But just because the legislature hasn't fixed something, doesn't mean it's what they designed, and it doesn't make it right, and it doesn't mean it's not anarchic.
I notice you don't maintain that thousands of people don't go to prison every year, who if they had trials, would be walking free, or that thousands of people don't walk free every year, who if they had trials, would be in prison. I don't know if you know this, but Germany gives everybody trials. They don't put people in prison without having a trial first. It can be done, and we should be doing it.
I would also point out that this is contrary to the ideal of the rule of law and the right our Constitution - illegitimate though it may be - says everyone has to a speedy trial. Imagine if we were to design a Constitution that said everyone accused of a crime shall have the right, not to a trial, but to bargain the chance that a jury will free them against the certainty of an outrageously long prison term if they're wrong. In other words, imagine that our Constitution actually described our justice system. No sane legislator could vote for something like that. No sane schoolchild could admire it. Our reputation as a country of law and order would be dead. It couldn't be done. If you can't write a Constitution that describes your actual practice, there's something wrong with your actual practice.
One further thought. Dr. Albert Alschuler wrote an article recently, called "Plea Bargaining and Mass Incarceration," published in the NYU Annual Survey of American Law, that pointed out that with 5% of the world's population, America incarcerates 25% of its prisoners. Our incarceration rate is 7 times that of West European democracies. Our reasons for this have little or nothing to do with differing crime rates. Our incarceration rate is higher than that in Russia, Iran, or Saudi Arabia. He goes on to say: Do you imagine that these people are punished less than they deserve? Do you think it's even remotely possible that such long sentences are required to protect the public? Do you think we got here by punishing 95% of all offenders too lightly to accomplish whatever it is that the prison system is supposed to achieve? I hope I don't have to tell you that the burden of this incarceration falls disproportionately on so called black people.
I think he's got some very good points, and I think the anarchy that currently rules our criminal justice system should be scrapped. And the fact that legislatures aren't prepared to do that doesn't mean they'd design a system that works this way, or that they did design it, or that it's not anarchic.
You keep using the word anarchy to mean things it doesn't mean. The legal system isn't chaotic so even going by that definition you're incorrect. It makes your argument really ridiculous.
Anyway the right to a speedy trial, like everything else in the Constitution, is up for debate based on what the court imagines that the Constitution means.
Anyway: read Brady v. United States, 397 U.S. 742
Plea bargains are Constitutional.
"read Brady v US"... yeesh. Read Dred Scott. Read Plessy v Ferguson. Just because a court said something doesn't make it right.
You seem to think anarchy is a synonym for chaos. It's not. What little reading I've done, of anarchistic texts, leads me to believe that anarchists differ as much among themselves as to what it "really" is as socialists do about socialism.
I think any system that operates without proper government, without the balancing of powers and the checks and balances and the legislative government that we associate with our democracy, can fairly be described as anarchic, and perhaps tyrannous. Who knows what principles govern plea bargaining? I don't. I bet you don't either.
You seem to imagine that I thought all this up myself. I didn't. I took an idea from here and an idea from there, from people that are good at thinking and experienced in the law. Read Alschuler's article on Plea Bargaining and Mass Incarceration. Read Jed Rakoff's article, Why Innocent People Plead Guilty. Read Francis Allen's article, Erosion of Legality in American Criminal Justice. These people are not fools.
I've read Dread Scott and I've read Plessy. The point is that the system, that you're so valiantly trying to reform, is fundamentally flawed and cannot be saved. It is working as intended. This is by design.
Is it fair? No, of course not. But it's how things are.
Read more about anarchism. Or don't. ¯_(ツ)_/¯
p.s. I will read Brady v US... it looks interesting
Does that interest you?
Does that interest you?