Why do we need criminal justice reform?

Nesbitt, Randy, Sr.



Mr. Randy Nesbitt Sr. P.O. Box. 3000 White Deer, PA. 17887 #06733-016 Dear Sirs: The following is an article that Is entitled "Why Do we Need Criminal Justice Reform?" And I am sending you this article in the hopes that you might want to publish it. The United States Constitution is one of the greatest documents that has ever been written in the history of the world. A document that guarantees that the people that are living here in the United States have equal justice under the eyes of the law. That is why a statue called "Lady Liberty" was erected in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building. A statue that has a blindfold that is covering both of her eyes, and a scale in her hands that has been leveled out to show that she will hear both sides of a criminal, or civil, case when it is brought into the courtroom. Because when a legal case is brought through the doors of the courtroom, it is either important to the parties in the case, or to society as a whole. When a case is brought into Family Court, it is important to all of the participants involved because it will usually involve the welfare“ of a minor child. Which in many cases will decide which one of the parents will be the better guafidian for the minor child. So the ruling of the court is important to both the parents, and the child. When a case is brought into Bankruptcy Court, it is on most occasions a heartrending situation of where a person is forced to file bankruptcy_because they don't have the ability to pay their debts. A situation that could end up with that person losing a house that he/she has lived in for decades. Or a (small business that the citizen has fought tooth and nail to keep above water for several years. ‘ A When a lawsuit is brought into Civil Court, it means that some matter has finally reached the point of the two parties in the Civil-Matter not having any choice but to file the action in court in order for them to settle the dispute. A dispute that could have resulted in the physical injury of one of the parties who now needs to win the Civil—Action in order to get finances that will assist them in moving forward with their lives. And when a case is brought into a Criminal Court for Criminal—Proceedings, it is not only important to the Prosecution, and the Defendant; but it is also crucial for society as a whole that the ruling in the Criminal Proceeding be correct. Because if the Ruling is not correct then the Family of the Victim, or the Defendant, is forced to suffer with the wrong result for years, and sometimes for decades. But in the 2000's our court system has allowed "Lady Liberty" to lift up one side of her blindfold so that she can see which party to the proceeding that she likes, or dislikes, and to stick one of her fingers on the scales of justice so that the court case leans more in favor of one party over the other. Which is not what the Framers of the U.S. Constitution ever intended to occur in our society. What do I mean by making such a wide—ranging societal statement? Well. Let's take~the Criminal Justice System for example. In order for a police officer to be successful in his/her job, they are required to make a certain amount of arrests each month. And what do you think that that police officer, who is coming upon a shortage of arrests for that month, is going to do after receiving several warnings by his/her supervisors over several months? He/she is going to do the same things that you would do in order to keep your job. Find some people to arrest for societal crimes in order to keep your arrest record above where it is supposed to be — — regardless of whether that person has committed a crime, or not. Because that police officer's philosophy at that point, is to let the court system decide if that particular citizen is guilty, or innocent, He/she has just been successful at making‘his7her arrest record quota for the month, and that police officer will continue to move forward with his/her life without any sort of guilty conscious over what they have just done, or how they have just affected the person's life that they have arrested. I know that if I was a police officer who was continuously falling short of reaching my arrest quota for the month, that I would rectify my situation by finding myself some individuals to arrest. But where do I find such people? And what are the prerequisites in order for me to know that I have found the persons that I can easily arrest in order to fulfill my quota? Wekl, they would ‘have to first off be individuals that won't be taken seriously by my superiors if they should happen to ever get the gumption to complain on me. Which would lead me_to begin (a) arresting people that are on parole, or probation, for some other crime, (b) people that have past criminal records, and-(c) people that don't really have the finances to take a complaint against me to court. And on many occasions I will find these sorts of people in the low—income areas of my city. At this point of my article, you are probably thinking that this can't possibly be true, and that if it was true, that the court system would rectify the situation by finding the citizen "not guilty" and sending the citizen on his way! And you would never be further from the truth, because the Prosecution on his/her case also has a quota system for how many criminal cases that he/she must obtain convictions for every month in order for the Prosecutor to advance in his/her career. So when the Prosecutor looks at his/her upcoming criminal caseload for that day, he/she first looks at flmg arrested individuals that are being held in the city jail in order to see who has applied for a Court Appointed Attorney, because that means that the citizen does not have the finances to fight against the Prosecutor; which will give the Prosecutor an easier chance to obtain another conviction. But my Court-Appointed Attorney is going to fight for my Rights? Is something that you are probably saying to yourself, and you would be wrong again. Because your Court—Appointed Attorney is being paid by the Court (The Proscutor), and your Court—Appointed Attorney is only interested in getting the citizen to plead guilty to the crime as quickly as he/she can so that the attorney can get that citizen out of the way and to move onto the next citizen who has been assigned to him/her, because that attorney is getting paid by the volume of citizens that he/she gets the chance to 'fake—defend!* And if the Court-Appointed attorney should happen to take a casemseriously enough to take to trial, thennthe Prosecutor will begin to cut down on the amount of cases that that particular court—appointed attorney is to receive for that month — - which means that the attorney is going to receive less money. So what happens when the citizen is not guilty of the crime that he/she has been arrested for, refuses to plea bargain, and decides to take his/her criminal case to trial? That is when the citizen that has been arrested for a crime that he/she did not commit (a) pisses off the Prosecutor because the Defendant is now messing up the Prosecutor's chances for obtaining his convictions record for that month, (b) pisses off his court-appointed attorney because he/she now has to spend more time on that particular case than the court—appointed attorney has allocated for that case, which means that the attorney is going to get less money that month. and (c) the Judge on the case 3 is now pissed off because you are holding up his/her courtroom from moving onto other cases, and that Judge is therein going to allow the Prosecutor and your court—appointed attorney to skewer the evidence in whatever direction that they want to go. And trust me when I tell you that the direction that the evidence is going to go in will not be favorable to the citizen! When that citizen goes to trial for whatever the crime may be, he/she must understand that the case is leaning towards the.defendant being found guilty of that crime. Your lawyer, the Prosecutor, and the Judge, are not on your side. So don't allow your lawyer to "Stipulate" to anything! Because when your lawyer begins to "Stipulate" to facts of the evidence, he/she is in effect saying that a fact of evidence exists in the case that the Prosecutor does not have to prove. As I said before, when a citizen decides to take his/her case to trial that Defendant is going against what is now seen as themnormal functions of the court system. The basis of the United States Constitution is the guarantee that the citizen is innocent of any criminal deeds, until proven guilty in a court of law. Which means that it is the job of the Prosecutor to prove the Defendant guilty of said crime "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt." But the criminal justice system is not functioning properly, which is the reason why people are now seeing news stations all over the Country reporting about individuals that are being released after having served decades of incarceration for crimes that they never committed. But the cases that you get a chance to see on the news aren't even the worst ones. Because there are other criminal cases all over the Country that have been going through their appeal stages where the Prosecutor has recognized that they werel wrong, but instead of just allowing the citizen to go free, the Prosecutor agrees to allow the citizen to be sentenced to a "Time—Served" sentence so that the Prosecutor can keep the conviction lodged against the citizen even though everyone knows that the citizen did not commit the crime that he/she has been convicted of. Now that man, or woman, has now been releasedrfrom jail - or prison — and back into society wiflduicriminalconviction on their record for something that they never did, which is going to make it very difficult for that citizen to find employment,,or to receive certain facets of Government assistance. As a black man, the writer of this article would love to tell you that the inadequacies in the Criminal Justice System that we are experiencing are just a by—product of the racial divide that we are dealing with here in the United States, but that is not true. Because even though race does play a major part in the discrepenciescof the Criminal Justice System, it is more of a by—product of the "rich" versus "poor" divide here in the United States. And I make this stance, because if you are a black man who has money to pay for a good “lawyer them1you will have a better chance of not being found guilty of the crime- With there also being white men, and women, locked up in prisons and jails in the United States who also did not have the adequate finances that they needed to hire a better attorney, and they have also been convicted of crimes that they did not commit. So as I write this article, I am advocating for corrections to be mademin the Criminal Justice System for all of America's Citizens - regardless of theirrace! And this has to start with the abolishment or their quota systems. My voice, or feelings, about the off—kilter Criminal Justice System here in the United States is miniscule when it comes to effecting change. Because the Criminal Justice System is a giant of a monster that is going to take ALL OF US in order to put back on ifluaright track. With the police officers, prosecutors, lawyers, and Judges wanting you to believe that this is just an issue that a whole lot of disgruntled black people areobringing up, and that if those black people weren't comiting crimes then they wouldn't be suffering those types of consequences. But look around my fellow citizens, because there are a whole lot more people that are incarcerated here intima United States for crimes that they did not commit who are not black, and it is time for the citizens of this Country to stand as one against a Criminal Justice System that is not performing as the Criminal Justice System should be performing.

Author: Nesbitt, Randy, Sr.

Author Location: Pennsylvania

Date: March 14, 2019

Genre: Essay

Extent: 5 pages

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