Justice, Police, and the Prison System

Fairness, an equal shake, blind justice, jury of peers, rule of law…Amendments IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, and XIV…. these are all ubiquitous and universally applauded features of American life. Like blind lady justice they are ubiquitous in every area of our culture. This system of justice makes us superior to most other countries in the world.

This is the delusion of the American justice system.

Our police are portrayed to us in grade school as our trusted guardians and helpers. They are our bulwark against crime and chaos. 

This is the delusion of American police.

If you are poor or worse, black, brown, or otherwise not American, the police are a feared presence, potentially lethal in almost any encounter at any time. In recent years ubiquitous videos from smart phones have brought this even to the attention of white people.

Our prison system is less of a delusion because it reflects the strain of Old Testament fundamentalism that Protestantism brought to this country’s early ruling elite. US Prisons are about punishment, pain, and retribution. Almost no thought is given to how a person will live after the leave prison.

Topics here include:

  • bail as a form of unconstitutional enrichment of local government through the oppression of poor people – incarceration before guilt.
  • the utter failure of the system of legal representation guaranteed by the Constitution
  • the continuation of the racist regime of post-Civil War oppression of African Americans through the police and prison system
  • the mal-treatment of mentally ill persons abandoned by our medical system.
  • Anerica’s longest war Nixon’s War on Drugs as continued by every President since.