Thursday, March 11, 2010

Law and Oughta

In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two sides…

We’ve all heard that phrase many times.  Did I say many times?  This is the proverbial phrase to use with the saying, “If I had a nickel for every time…”

But the people are not only represented by two sides there are several levels within each side that affect decisions made on their behalf.

One major level is that of intent.  This is purely subjective as it is hard to fully ascertain the intent of every criminal.

Take murder for example.  It is a heinous crime in and of itself and should be dealt with harshly.  But throw in the claim of ‘self-defense’ and it becomes a gray area.  The other side of the coin could be the prosecution’s addition of the words bias motivated more commonly known ‘hate crime.’

It is the ‘hate crime’ part of murder that always amuses me in a sort of black comedy way.  In the end the victim of the hate crime is no better or worse off than a victim of a regular one.  I mean if you are dead do you care if the guy who killed you hated you or not?

So why the distinction?

Do we really need another level of bureaucracy on everything?  And if so why not follow it through to all crime?

It all boils down to intent.  If we can find the true motivation behind anyone’s actions then we may finally see the entire picture and be able to make fair judgments accordingly.

Simply stated we define the death of a person that is caused by the actions of another to be murder.
The legal nuances that ensue can and do manipulate society’s mandated punishment for the crime.  But the basic feeling is that if someone is convicted of murder, of any kind and for any reason other than pure self defense that person must be punished.

Without a fair and just penal system a free Democratic society cannot operate.

Unfortunately all of the above is not as easy as it seems.  A criminal, or to keep the analogy going, murderer will naturally try to hide his guilt.  He may hire a dream team group of high-paid defense attorneys to blur the facts and deflect the eye from the truth.

In our country we are fortunate to have laws that allow everyone, “the right to an attorney… if you cannot afford one…”

So what’s the problem?

What if the attorneys are the ones committing the crimes?  Or a corporation or group of corporations is committing the crime?  It becomes almost impossible to ferret out a fair and just conviction.

Such is the state of our current health insurance system.

By their very open and defiant actions the industry is denying coverage to millions of Americans thus putting them in mortal danger.  When a poor person is without health care and gets sick the odds are that person will die.

But instead of changing their ways or softening their policies these super large corporations are raising rates thus adding more people to the list of endangered humans.

This indifference also has a level within our criminal justice system and is appropriately known as, ‘criminally negligent homicide’ or ‘criminal indifference.’

The statute on this type of murder implies that the guilty parties stood by doing nothing while fully aware that their inaction would cause the death of another.  And that they were fully capable of changing the outcome without suffering themselves.

Naturally extenuating circumstances may be used to defend the alleged criminals in such cases but if it is determined that their inaction was the reverse of their normal action then they will most likely be found guilty.

Our government is locked in a debate over reforming our health care system.  But the industry has employed a dream team of their own; lobbyists who have purchased Senators and Representatives to actively block any reform.

These elected officials, our Congressmen are thus defending the industry’s criminally negligent inaction with their own depraved indifference.

Perhaps we should send this case over to the justice department.

No comments: