Friday, June 08, 2007

What is up with our legal system?

Apparently Paris Hilton is really upset. What good is all that money if you can't buy your way out of jail time?

I remember years ( and years, and years ) ago when OJ Simpson was found innocent in a court of law for the murder of Nicole Smith. I was not concerned at the time about guilt or innocence, the jury found him innocent. I was in for a lesson. After being found innocent in a criminal court, Smith's family was not only allowed to have him tried again in civil court but they won. Apparently he was slightly guilty for her death and the criminal court just missed the evidence. At first I thought this was double jeopardy, something our Constitution is supposed to prevent. But no, since a civil suit is only about money, its allowed. So even thought he was found innocent of the murder, just because he was a suspect and that was enough to get Smith's family a whole bunch of money. I certainly hope that made up for the grief and loss. It's old news, often debated, but old. It did make me slightly wonder about our justice system that it could itself ignore its own rulings.

In Paris' case, I heard the comment of a legal professional that letting Paris go back home instead of serving her time, undermined the purposes and goals of the system. What do I know, several people also stated that the Sheriff' department has the right to override the judge in it's determination of where a convicted criminal can serve their time. To them the judge only offers suggestions. Call me crazy, but a drunk, doped up porn star potential murderer(*) should serve out the time they are given, especially if they were given parole and already proved they couldn't do that right. On the other hand, based on past civil suits, i could sue her just for making me nervous about being on the same road as her, mental anguish I assure you.

* In case you are concerned about my choice of words, make no mistake, they were chosen. Anyone who drinks and drives or dopes and drives is simply a murderer in search of a victim.

I say most of this to get to another point.

In the Seattle Times last week there was an article about a kid who was tried with a group of other kids for a 'Columbine-style' incident at a school here in the Northwest. (Article) He was found innocent while others were convicted. Those convicted are back in school. He is not, the school district has expelled him and will not allow him to return until he admits that he did wrong, even though a jury has acquitted him of the crime. He's innocent, but they want an admission. Does anybody see the logic in this, please tell me.

Here children is another lesson about our justice system. In the US you are innocent until proven guilty (by everyone but the press), if acquitted you can always sue them for something else, or at the least just ignore the reality of the situation in favor of a reality where you get to decide instead.

I love this country, but some of the people that live here are just looney.

1 comment:

Jess said...

The thing that worries me is that she is more or less sidestepping the judicial system. The positive thing is that the judge pitched a holy &(*)_ fit and now she's back in jail.

I just wish someone would tell her that being "hott" isn't going to make her successful. Didn't she learn anything from Anna Nicole?