Monday, November 29, 2010

What's wrong with our justice system

We have leftwing lawyers in the Obama administration who fight for the rights of terrorists. That is wrong. I'm not talking about accused terrorists. I'm talking about people that everyone agrees are violent people who attack innocent men,women, and children in order to inflict as much damage as possible.

I am in favor of giving accused terrorists civil rights under our Constitution. These would be people who were caught on the battlefield and no one knows anything about them. But if a soldier saw them committing terrorist acts or they are known throughout the intelligence community to be a terrorists, then we should adjucate them in military situations.

Contrast that with this...

Troy Anthony Davis was convicted of a capital crime.
But many of the original witnesses have recanted their testimony.

The Supreme Court ruled he has a right to a special appeals hearing, but that judge determined the proper standard for review:

to establish a claim of actual innocence, a person previously convicted at a fair trial “must show by clear and convincing evidence that no reasonable juror would have convicted him in the light of the new evidence” that was developed after the trial.

This is super-high standard that was inappropriate and wrong.

It should have been that the defendant must show by clear and convincing evidence that a reasonable juror could have refused to convict him in light of the new evidence.

The whole point of this appeal is to show that there wasn't a fair trial. You can't presuppose that the jury verdict deserves respect in this particular type of case.

If it is true that witnesses who presented important evidence to the jury have changed their stories under the penalty of going to jail themselves, then that should matter. There's no way 12 reasonable jurors could pass a guilty verdict beyond a reasonable doubt with the facts in the Davis case. I could see some people getting to "more likely than not", but even that would be a guess.

Our system should strive to work in a realistic way not a theoretical.
That would be a truly liberal justice system.
If someone is known to be guilty but is set free because of technicalities that don't resonate beyond the confines of our minds, that is wrong and dangerous.

For instance, if everyone knows that a defendant confessed to the crime, but that statement can't be entered into evidence because it's "hearsay".

It's different if it's challenged as "hearsay" because the defense alleges it's untrue.
But our system doesn't allow "hearsay" even if everyone agrees it's true.

Likewise, about evidence that is more "preducial" than "probative". If an accused child molestor has been accused before (but not convicted), oftentimes our justice system will demand that the prior accusation not be allowed in court.

What I'm saying is that we need a liberal overhaul of our notion of justice. Sometimes it means going to the "right" and doing what is necessary to protect ourselves. Othertimes it means going ot the "left" and truly giving people fair hearings including the resources to defend themselvs as we would for ourselves.

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