The Truth About Criminal Justice Systems
Let’s get this clear right off the bat: the criminal “justice” system isn’t about justice. It’s not about “right and wrong” or a battle between “good and evil.”
It’s about whether the government gets to ruin the lives of all the people whose lives it wants to ruin.
The Sacrosanct Government
Government is neither moral nor ethical. There are lots of things that people do that are are illegal, but not wrong (unethical or immoral), and more that are wrong, but not illegal. Even where the law makes illegal conduct that is wrong, the punishment generally bears no rational relationship to the wrong.
This is a natural consequence of having laws written by politicians — and not just by politicians, but by committees of politicians. (If you were trying to decide if you were doing something immoral or unethical, would you consult with the Texas Legislature?)
The Justice System Casino
If you’re charged with a crime, you’re gambling. The government owns the casino. The government (legislature) has made the rules. The government (prosecutor) is dealing. The government (judge) decides whether the dealer is cheating. Don’t make things easier for the government by pleading guilty.
Instead, even the odds. Hire a great lawyer and fight.
If Wrong, You Should Still Fight
Even if you have done something you feel bad about, don’t make it any easier for the government to put you in a cage. Instead, stop doing it. Make up for it by doing good. It’s hard to do good from inside a cage. Not impossible, just hard.
- That there is no higher calling for a lawyer than to defend people accused of crimes.
- That everybody deserves an aggressive defense.
- That the government should be forced to work if it wants to put a person in jail.
- That the right to a trial by jury is a valuable thing that should not be given up lightly.
- That there is no such thing as a hopeless case.
- That a defendant is best served by a lawyer who is prepared, and willing, to try his case.
If these sound like things you’d like your lawyer to believe and — more important — put into practice, read on.
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(For more of our philosophy, please visit Mark’s blog, Defending People. It’s frequently updated with posts of interest to criminal defense lawyers and to the people they represent.)