“Houston, we have a problem.” Fateful words that for persons, like me — part of the generation whose youth was spent in the race to the Moon — are the embodiment of grievous danger. And that danger is within our system of laws.
America runs on trust. Ours is a “high trust” society. We contract. We self-report our income for tax purposes. Although admonished to “drive defensively” we rely on our fellow citizens to act in predictable ways that follow the rules or a pretty close approximation thereto.
Similarly, we rely on our legal institutions to follow rules or a pretty close approximation thereto. But they seem to be letting us down.
Here are six examples:
- Targets of investigations can be lied to, but not lie to investigators.
- Investigators test whether a target will answer a question “truthfully” under the guise of collecting unknown information, when the investigators actually know the answer, or think they do.
- Innocent people cannot behave in normal and natural ways that an innocent person would once suspicion has been cast upon them.
- Associates of innocent persons who have committed unrelated crimes are manipulated to provide false evidence against the innocent.
- Plea bargains are negotiated whereby innocent persons admit to crimes they did not commit to avoid the risk of conviction and punishment for a more severe offense.
- Evidence of innocence is too often ignored and hidden by investigators and prosecutors.
That our court system in any way countenances this behavior makes a mockery of the Constitution.
It is time to take a step waaaay back and look at what is going on. There are justifications or rationalizations for all of these behaviors individually and on a case by case basis. But it is corrupting the rule of law and undermining trust in the administration of justice.Published in