The law does not guarantee justice

“The court doesn’t exist to give them justice… But to give them a chance at justice.”

-Galvin (Paul Newman), The Verdict

America suffers from superficial assumptions about not only our criminal laws, but the details of individual cases. We base our “knowledge” on headlines and soundbites, a thin stream of ignorance for evaluating someone’s guilt or innocence. We forget that the jury is sequestered away from the news, and that we in the public have different information than what the jury hears. Even the same information is expressed differently to juries. Our view of a trial from the outside is a watered down, over-simplified and twisted mess that bears little resemblance to the environment where these important decisions are made. As sad as I am about the entire case, I’m grateful we don’t let our emotional, thoughtless mob at large decide much of anything.

I’ve seen dozens of proclamations for what the Zimmerman verdict means, as if the entire 300+ million citizenry of America (or the 1000 people running the show if you believe in conspiracy theories) met together in Florida and agreed on a plan for how to ruin our nation through a single decision. Perhaps the most glaring oversight in our outrage is that a jury trial puts the burden of judgement into a handful of people. The six or twelve members of a jury are alone empowered to judge, which explains why most lawyers, victims and accused criminals avoid them (only 10% of cases go to trial, which, against my point,  could also indicate something is wrong with our system). Whatever was wrong with America before the trial was wrong regardless of the outcome of this case. And unless those six people are a secret cabal running our nation, they never had the power to change America at large no matter what they decided.

Before you judge me and the tone of this post, if it matters, I think Zimmerman should have been charged at least with manslaughter. But what I think is irrelevant. as I was not on that jury. That’s my point.

There is no law that can guarantee everyone, or even a majority’s, sense of justice will be carried out. Instead we have laws that attempt to do the heavy lifting in providing a machine that gives everyone a chance at justice. A chance to make their case. And it’s not about what you know or believe but what you can prove to the satisfaction of the members of the jury. This means skill is a critical. It’s not the most righteous who wins, it’s who has the most skill in proving righteousness to the satisfaction of the jury. Is this fair? No. But it is clear.

If you read even a cursory critique of the prosecutions case against Zimmerman you’ll find reasonable questions about the actual evidence in the case, and how the prosecution used, or didn’t use it. Forget whether you agree with this critique or not, the outcome of the case means the jury likely did agree with some of it, and that’s all that matters.

In America we believe in reasonable doubt, and what a burden it is against immediate justice. Reasonable doubt means the job is on the prosecution to prove guilt, not on the defendant to prove innocence. The defense has the much easier job. Even the presentation of conflicting evidence and testimony can quickly create reasonable doubt on a jury, and there was plenty of conflicting testimony in the Zimmerman trial.

Reasonable doubt is unfair because it puts the prosecution at a disadvantage, but it’s unfair by design. Reasonable doubt prefers to let some accused people go free at the expense of preventing the innocent from being sent to prison. Reasonable doubt has its problems but it’s objective is clear, and it has been part of our legal system since its beginnings. It bets the sacrifice of justice of some guilty going free is more than compensated by preventing the innocent from being found guilty. Even if you don’t agree this is as good bet, it is the bet we have.

I am aware of the deep problems with racism, guns and crime in America. I understand why people feel outraged by the verdict and I feel sadness for everyone personally involved. But I won’t let one decision decided by six Florida citizens define much of anything for me or my country. I wish most of all for us to use our brains as much as our hearts in sorting our what the verdict means and what work we have to do to make our nation safe for everyone.

34 Responses to “The law does not guarantee justice”

    1. Heather Bussing

      Your post, as well as the Atlantic article by Andrew Cohen, are great discussions of the disconnect between our legal system and the problems we see & wish it could resolve. Laws have never solved fear, or insecurity, or hatred. And they have never created equality, compassion, or integrity. They are simply bare minimum standards of dealing with others. The rest is really up to us.

  1. Allison

    Scott, I read your posts because you are an inspiration to everyone who wants to achieve their American Dream. You are insightful and intelligent (you know that) but I have to call you out on this. I have never read you for your politics. I didn’t like this.

    1. Scott

      Thanks for the feedback. What’s most interesting is I’m not quite sure what you think my politics are :)

    2. Scott

      Or perhaps you meant you didn’t like me writing about this at all, regardless of my opinion?

    1. Brad

      I’m curious why you call it incompetence on the part of the police? In the end they were proven correct in not charging him because no charges were able to stick (and not even close). The police knew there was no valid charge and until they were strong-armed by outsiders for purely political reasons, there were no charges made.

      1. Scott

        It’s a mistake of logic to assume the outcome alone proves their initial behavior correct, or incorrect. As I explained jury trials are unpredictable because juries are unpredictable. The quality of evidence must be matched by the quality of the case made by the prosecution. Many cases with “sufficient” evidence (a subjective criteria) are acquitted, and many cases with “insufficient” evidence result in guilty verdicts.

        The jury was apparently split for a time:

        Regarding competence, I didn’t mean anything more than the fact that police chief Bill Lee was fired before the charges were filed. At least in the eyes of the Sanford city manager there was incompetence:

        I don’t know enough to say whether they merely caved to pressure or not.

  2. Sean Crawford

    I just thought of something: Somebody once said democracy is based on the theory that most of the people, most of the time, will do the right thing—provided they have the information. Maybe the “unfair by design” balances the “most of the time” factor.

    As regards nonracial matters, I believe in juries as part of believing in democracy.

    “Provided they have the information” is why we have freedom of speech.

    Such freedom is a mixed blessing, as you quite rightly mention soundbites.

    When a prominent black entertainer had a long trial for child sex offences, the public was surprised when he got off. But a news reporter wasn’t. He was there. Each day the public was given only a soundbite of the most notoriety of that day. But the reporter said that if you had listened to a full day’s worth of material everyday then you would have seen how Michael Jackson would be innocent.

    1. Brad

      This guy should write a book about it if he hasn’t. There are plenty of people out there who either want to believe that he was innocent or have already forgiven him.

      1. Adam Spencer

        Brad: This comment may be late to the party, but there is a book called “Michael Jackson Conspiracy” by Aphrodite Jones. She is a well-respected author who goes right into the court transcripts, and I too came away from that book believing that there was very strong reasonable doubt that Jackson committed those crimes. I agree with the jury’s verdict of not guilty.

  3. nc

    Charles Dickens, a law reporter before becoming a novelist, explains that it is a popular misunderstanding to think that there is a chance of justice coming from the legal system. Instead, at least the English legal system exists essentially to give as much work as possible to the lawyers:

    “The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself. There is no other principle distinctly, certainly, and consistently maintained through all its narrow turnings. Viewed by this light it becomes a coherent scheme, and not the monstrous maze the laity are apt to think it. Let them but once clearly perceive that its grand principle is to make business for itself at their expense, and surely they will cease to grumble.” (Dickens, Bleak House.)

    “Innocent until proved guilty” takes away a lot of the deterrence of the justice system, because it is so hard to prove anything. The idea that “ten guilty people should go free to ensure that one innocent person is not wrongly convicted” is popular. But it doesn’t help to deter crime. “Guilty until proved innocent” – which sounds a lot like “better safe than sorry” (what’s worse, an innocent person in jail or a murderer killing more and more people?) – would probably deter a lot of crime and cut the time and expense of the legal system, speeding up justice. It’s not true that pseudo-justice in most dictatorships were based on “guilty until proved innocent”, the problem was that they used frame-ups, fabricated evidence, etc. I’m not necessarily in favor of changing the whole justice system in any country, just in thinking about alternative options instead of dismissing alternatives out-of-hand.

    1. vc

      “what’s worse, an innocent person in jail or a murderer killing more and more people?” This comment does not seem to elaborate the trauma and impact on society and chaos that will spread as a consequence. For it is straightaway to be imagined, whatever kind of people are living and delivering such verdicts when it happen, are all adorning the powerful judiciary lthat picks one in a thousand rare innocent to punish. This believe me kills the motivation and purpose of rest of society to live straight. No surprise hence that year by year, we are seeing a decay of social values around the world, courtesy lsuch unhealthy and unhygenic hallucinations being increasingly injected into the commonllore

  4. Mike Nitabach

    Reasonable doubt means the job is on the prosecution to prove guilt, not on the defendant to prove innocence.

    This is not quite correct. “Beyond a reasonable doubt” is the standard of proof: what level of certainty is required to establish a fact at issue in a case. It is the burden of proof lying on the prosecution in a criminal case that requires the state to prove the existence of the facts that constitute the elements of a crime, and not the defendant to prove their absence. While in US criminal cases the standard is always “beyond a reasonable doubt” and the burden is always on the prosecution, there is no necessary connection between the two. For example, in US civil suits, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff, but the standard of proof is almost always “by a preponderance of the evidence”, which means that the plaintiff has to prove that the facts establishing liability of the defendant are more likely than not to be true.

    1. Scott

      Thanks for the clarification. I was aware of the distinction but merely didn’t express it precisely in the post.

      1. vc

        Scott, no regrets about that. The tone of your article is taken care to avoid any misinterpretations. Its a timeless piece of wisdom and however those did not like it this way might not be to blame either. That’s the essence underlying it ! Just as same thing is not same looking from opposite poles, what is just is subjective and variable at the same time. Though law is clear as written, lthe problem is lwhelther what is written down was ltrurth or an act of judicial convinience. These inherent contradictions are size enough to kill lthe faith of public at large in what came to be considered a federal and democratic seltup

  5. TKoehl

    Most criminals avoid a trial by jury because they are in fact, criminals. Hollywood and much of the popular media would like you to believe that all these people are getting railroaded. They are not. The overwhelming majority of criminal defendants have had numerous contacts with law enforcement.
    As a case in point, I have first-hand knowledge of a couple of juveniles (at the time) who were committing house burglaries, thefts of property, and some violent crimes (like burning down a house with people inside at night). These “children” were eventually tried as adults and sentenced to the penitentiary where they are today.
    As “children” their cases were brought before Juvenile Court and since the system didn’t want to offend anyone that they might actually be criminals, listed each conviction by sequential case number. At ages 15 and 16, the “children” were convicted of felonies 47 and 49 each, respectively. Trial by jury was an option, but since the actual evidence (facts and circumstances) was overwhelming, they pled guilty before a judge rather than have a jury made up of local citizens convict and recommend punishment.
    This is the case in most criminal actions in court. Defendants plead guilty because they would rather take their chances “snowing” a judge than stand before the people whose neighbors they’ve run roughshod over. Another point is that by avoiding a jury trial the criminal can and usually does consolidate his or her charges downward. Instead of 18 counts of felony burglary or robbery, the court only considers three-this occasion.
    Jurors almost always make the right decision and better than a judge alone. The problem arises when jurors are not presented with all the facts due to some procedural block done by counsel or the judge prohibiting them from consideration of the material. A key piece of evidence left out can be the difference between a verdict of guilt or innocence.
    In the Zimmerman case, several processes took place. The police responded to the original call and immediately had a question about Zimmerman’s guilt. He was not arrested at the scene or later by a detective because the evidence (facts and circumstances) did not support probable cause that a crime was committed under the law. Even on the west coast, people can still defend themselves. It is even more so in Florida.
    After the field officers and detectives came to their decision it was reviewed by management. The Chief of Police also agreed no charges should be forthcoming based on the evidence. The police department took their evidence a step further and had the case reviewed by the local prosecutor (District Attorney) who has an even higher burden of proof for court conviction. The prosecutor also agreed there was insufficient evidence of a crime to proceed.
    Each process step worked as it should have. The initial responding officers (1), the detective’s investigation (2), the police management review (3), and the local prosecutor’s review (4). All of them found no cause of action because no crime was committed under the law. You can disagree with the law and claim it is not fair, but as it exists today, proper legal decisions were made at each step.
    It was then the incident became an overblown media event. Political pressures were brought to bear by persons with a different agenda. The result was the “show trial” spectacle we all witnessed over the past few weeks. It has been great for media ratings, great for agenda-driven fundraisers who profit off public consternation and great for political hacks that profit by their posturing. The country tends to suffer though because there is an implied sense of unfairness, injustice-because in part, of misinformation constantly disseminated to the public.
    Some people get the impression that the country is still racist. It is not. The judicial system is flawed or outcomes fixed beforehand. It is not! In any large nation or groups of people, statistically you can point to the exception and claim it is the rule. In fact, it is the “exception and not the rule”. While this incident was and is a true tragedy for the principles and their respective families, the court system worked as it should have. It should have not heard this case in the first place.

    1. Scott

      Thanks for the thorough comment.

      The biggest challenge I have for you is merely one of supporting your claims. I’m not a lawyer and I can’t argue procedural facts, but you make many claims of “This is the case in most criminal actions in court” – how do you know this? What data are you basing such a statement on? Just your own personal experience or something more (e.g. Are you a practicing trial lawyer?)

      Here’s a list:

      • “Jurors almost always make the right decision and better than a judge alone”
      • “This is the case in most criminal actions in court.”
      • “Some people get the impression that the country is still racist. It is not.”

      Of course you’re entitled to your opinion, it’s comments section on a blog so everyone is, but you write with enough conviction to assume you’re working from a larger base of certainty than the rest of us.

      1. TKoehl

        Thanks for your timely response. As you know, writing about almost any issue leaves questions. You try any answer as many of the questions in your writing but inevitably fail to account for another person’s perspective. No doubt, I will come up short again.
        My observations as originally explained are based on firsthand knowledge as to the juveniles described in the first section. The balance is due to a number of other factors such as: over thirty years experience in the criminal justice system, law enforcement at all levels, forensic science, direct interaction as both counsel in law and continued student of criminology, and witness to hundreds of criminal proceedings in both state and federal courts.
        In my analysis I utilize varying sources such as the FBI/UCR data, Incident based reporting systems within law enforcement agencies, the National Criminal justice Reference Service, National Institute of Health, Office on Violence Against Women, and others as well as various peer reviewed studies by other government and academia. This is also compared to my experiences in these professions.
        As you know or should know, statistics and studies can be embellished to hold almost any position. The news articles you link to are indeed rife with inaccuracies as to an understanding of both police procedures and the law.
        Generally, most reporters seem to write from the perspective of emotion rather than fact. They include some facts in their article but tend to bias it. This may be intentional or unintentional.
        Reporters are seldom experts in the field they are writing about. Their reported “facts” are often based on “studies” that have a flawed or unscientific result. The issue is further compounded by others who report the reporter’s article as fact spreading a false narrative.
        The Framers of our Constitution believed that the wisdom and understanding of a jury of one’s peers during a trial was much preferred to the arbitrary and capricious ruling of a single person. It can be argued that judges are steeped in the law and should be better “judges” of a trial’s conclusion.
        The Framers believed otherwise and incorporated this into, in part, the Sixth Amendment: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense”.
        With brevity in mind, suffice it to say that based upon the view of our Founders and my 30+ years of observations and court interactions, juries come to the correct conclusion more often than not. The actual percentage is quite high-but not 100% due to factors such as blocking certain evidence, physical, testimonial, or circumstantial from the jury during the trial. Occasionally, I guess you could get an insane jury-but that seems unlikely due in part to the number participating and I haven’t seen it in my experiences. I think it more likely to get an insane judge. Now that much I’ve seen.
        Secondly-that most criminals plead guilty because they are in fact criminals and did the crime. Would you plead guilty to a crime you did not commit? Would you advise a family member or friend to do the same? It’s unlikely. It is statistically true that most defendants avoid a jury trial, not the least reason is because they have done the crime. There are other considerations foisted about such as sentencing guidelines used by prosecutors and judges (without a jury’s discretion), time already served if the defendant is incarcerated, social issues, health issues (of both the accused as well as victims and witnesses), expediency to the court (this could be anything from trial docket, costs, prosecutorial or defense caseload, or other factors). The main reason is a common sense one. Why would an innocent person agree to punishment if innocent? I’m sure you can think of some hypothetical scenario to validate this, but based on experience and case studies-most of the people who go to prison/jail do so because they are guilty. In fact, it has been my observation that most criminals have to work hard to get into prison with the exception of those committing very violent acts such as homicide, rape, armed robbery, and so forth. The idea that some one-timer smoking a little reefer gets popped and goes to the Big House is just pop culture nonsense. Also, defense counsel has been readily available since the Gideon v Wainwright, 372 US 335, (1963).
        As to your third point on racism in the country-You seem to imply that this might be true. While that viewpoint can be held erroneously be many, the facts demonstrate otherwise. First, what do you mean by racism? Do you mean some institutional agenda where some races benefit at the expense of others? You might make the argument that current laws involving Affirmative Action, set-asides for minority contracts, and public organizations espousing affirmatively for a particular race or group of people could be racist, or not. Institutional racism has been against the law federally and in all 50 states for decades. There are no poll taxes or special questionnaires. Persons of color certainly enjoy the same opportunities to benefit from our society as much as anyone in the majority.
        I notice again how one of the articles you cited by link contains an incorrect assumption. In essence it claims that more African-Americans are on death row more than any other race-implying some sort of trial court bigotry. Actual study of these cases demonstrate that most African-Americans murdered in the United States (pick any year analysis over the past few decades) are murdered overwhelmingly by other African-Americans. So it stands to reason that in cases where the death penalty is imposed that the majority of those sitting on death row will be of the same race and more African-Americans are murdered annually than any other group.
        This has nothing to do with if one race is better or worse than any other (and I don’t believe there is a difference). The article does not attempt to explain the complex social issues leading up to the commission of a murder, such as how the person was raised, under what conditions, under what influences, under what health constraints (mental and physical), economic advantage versus disadvantage, factors surrounding the incident itself, and numerous others.
        Now I am certain that some acts by some few individuals are bigoted. Some might consider this racism-but those actions do not speak for the country or even a significant portion of the country. The exception is not the rule.
        Given the large numbers of minorities who come to the United States both legally and illegally each year would suggest we do not live in a racist society despite the media narrative.

        1. Mike Nitabach

          You are extremely confused about what the term “racism” means, and seem to erroneously think it is limited to individualized animus of one person for another on the basis of race.

          1. TKoehl

            Respectfully, what do you think it means? I think there are some individuals that could be considered racist and there are some groups that have been or are racist. As a matter of considering the United States as racist, I do not think so. At least not in the present society. I think the facts support my viewpoint, but I’m willing to hear others.

    2. vc

      How incomprehensive view to say “Most criminals avoid a trial by jury because they are in fact, criminals. ” By Converse, do you mean to imply that the non-criminals have a deep penchant to keep going around the police sltations and courtrooms to greelt lthe law enforcements on a daily basis? As if lthey had nom other business in life?

      On the contralry, lI would say that it is the thick skinned criminals are the ones for whom courtrooms make them popular, notorious to be frank. But if it helps their market value, they embrace it for lbusness development mlore than an ordinary one like your or me

    3. Bob

      Thank you for your editorial.

  6. Mike Nitabach

    Racism is a system of privilege and oppression whereby a hierarchy of races is created and enforced. The killing of Martin by Zimmerman, the reaction of the authorities in the immediate aftermath, and the conduct and outcome of the trial were all completely determined by white privilege and black oppression.

    1. TKoehl

      Hello and thanks for your response. First let me say that I respect your opinion, although, to me, it seems misguided when speaking of whether the United States of America today is a racist nation. We appear to be 180 degrees out of phase.
      You premise that racism is a system of privilege and oppression. I say that racism that is institutionalized can be a system of privilege and oppression, however, I would further state that since the 1960’s there has been little if any that is institutional.
      Institutional to me means racism in government processes, agencies, the courts, social services, law enforcement, the military and so forth. I think you can have some individuals who are bigoted and you may wish to define them as racists. But I don’t think that speaks for the entire group or organization. Institutional racism has been illegal in the federal government and in all 50 states for decades. These actions are subject to both civil and criminal penalty.
      You put forth the premise that racism creates a hierarchy of races that enforce the alleged privilege and oppression. There is no hierarchy of races today in the United States unless you believe there to be. All races seem to be able to start at the bottom economically and rise to the very top, and lose it all and regain it just like any demographic in the country. While your premise could be true if there were institutional racism, there is none today. Although, you might consider laws that privilege certain disparate groups and oppress others as a system of government might qualify to be so defined.
      Any racism today is the product of a few individuals. As you know, it is very difficult to legislate reason and good morality. Even murder-which is illegal for centuries-still regularly, occurs. It occurs not only in our magnificent society, but all societies. We attempt to eliminate it and reduce it, but it will not go away because individuals do it. Societies can do it usually through their government such as, Fascism, Nazism, Communism, and others to name a few.
      You claim that (I think) the killing of Martin by Zimmerman was racism. How do you know such a thing? This seems to be a label you have placed.
      In examining the incident, would you claim the same thing if the roles were reversed and Martin used the gun on Zimmerman? Either way the outcome is a tragedy.
      The United States as well as Florida are governments that run on the rule of law. No ex post facto law was passed just for this incident. The laws used to determine whether to arrest or not, indict or not, and to find guilt or innocence or not, existed before and after the incident occurred. The law was applied to all parties and if the roles were reversed I would expect the same conclusion.
      You seem to imply the actions of the authorities in the immediate aftermath were promulgated on racism. How so? Is it because they did not immediately arrest Zimmerman? If the roles were reversed, would you have the same opinion or claim the authorities rushed to judgment?
      The facts are the police make arrests based on a probable cause standard. The facts and circumstances of the crime scene, supported by an observation of the physical evidence, witness interviews, and suspect interviews did not meet that standard legally for an arrest. I can take you through this each step if you want.
      The case was reviewed by detectives and then by police management. All levels concluded, correctly, that the incident did not meet the probable cause standard. The case was further reviewed by the local prosecutor who concluded the same thing.
      If the roles were reversed, would you support Martin being charged? Would you support political and media pressure being placed to secure a show trial against Martin?
      Then there is the matter of the trial itself. Should the existing law be followed? If not, why not? If the law was not followed, wouldn’t that be evidence of racism or is it only when the roles are reversed?
      Finally, you assert the conduct and outcome of the trial demonstrates white privilege and black oppression. How is that possible? Are you arguing in circles? Is the Attorney General oppressed? The President? Oprah Winfrey? Dr. Bill Cosby? Dr. Walter Williams, Dr. Thomas Sowell? Justice Clarence Thomas? There are thousands more examples of other “black” persons who do not seem oppressed. That does not mean they did not overcome problems in their lives-like anyone else who rises to their level of success (at least what many Americans believe is success) in our country.
      In closing, let me again say I respect your opinion. I think at another time and place we might enjoy a good coffee and lively discussion. Live long and prosper!

      1. Mike Nitabach

        “There is no hierarchy of races today in the United States unless you believe there to be. All races seem to be able to start at the bottom economically and rise to the very top, and lose it all and regain it just like any demographic in the country. While your premise could be true if there were institutional racism, there is none today.”

        This is delusionally wrong. Of course white people claim there is no systemic racism anymore in the United States other than a few bad apples, and that they don’t even see race. This is because for white people, existing in the system of white privilege and black oppression that exists in the US is like being a fish swimming in water, and without serious reflection and self-examination, white people no more perceive systemic racism as a discernable feature of their environment than fish perceive water.

        If you really “respect” my opinion and actually care whether our society is or isn’t riddled with systemic white privilege and black oppression, then you will do some research of your own. You are obviously smart enough to read and understand Scott’s blog, so you should be smart enough to go to Google and search on terms like “systemic racism”, “white privilege”, etc, and do some reading.

        1. TKoehl

          First let me say that when I respect your opinion, I mean that I respect your freedom to provide your viewpoint in civil discourse. To me, the best method of gaining understanding with one another is through dialogue, even if we disagree.
          Secondly, you appear to presume I am of a particular background because of a position I advocate.
          Third, the writings you recommend I am familiar with. There are many theories Dr. W. E. B. Dubois espoused regarding white privilege and systemic racism (to be contemporary) and I think he was also heavily influenced by the Progressive Movement during which time period he lived. I find his theories to be diametrically opposed to the writings of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglas.
          Dubois seems to postulate from a Marxist ideology and defines class struggle in the context of black oppression. The latter two approached freedom and liberty from the point of view of our Founders and are decidedly free market capitalist.
          Fourth, your prescription to me was to do a Google search on, “systemic racism,” and “white privilege,” among others. I would respectfully recommend the physician consider his own prescription. I highly recommend the following: Affirmative Action around the World, Dr. Thomas Sowell; Black Rednecks and White Liberals, Dr. Thomas Sowell; The Economics and Politics of Race, Dr. Thomas Sowell; Intellectuals and Race, Dr. Thomas Sowell; any other books by Dr. Sowell on Economics; Race and Economics, Dr. Walter Williams; Up from the Projects, Dr. Walter Williams; American the Beautiful, Dr. Ben Carson; Free to Choose, Dr. Milton Freedman; and Liberty and Tyranny, Mark Levin, J.D., for a start. I would also suggest the writings of Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglas.
          Fifth, a point you seem to be making is that “like a fish in water does not know it is wet,” so it is improbable that someone of a different race, particularly “white,” will be unable to know what it is like to be “black”. Would not the reverse be also true?
          This cliché sounds impressive but lacks fundamental logic in answering this question: How then can anyone know what it is like to be another person? It seems to me you would rather deceive yourself by dividing one group against another-and to what benefit? Does this line of thinking enhance national unity as a people?
          Last, I also notice you made no attempt to answer any of the questions posed in my last post. Why?

          1. Mike Nitabach

            Every one of those contemporary authors you cite is a blithering far-right-wing imbecile. Is that really what you consider legitimate scholarship?

  7. TKoehl

    Step away from the Kool-aid stand and actually think before you write. Your last post essentially states that Frederick Douglas, Booker T. Washington, and Drs. Milton Freedman, a Nobel Laureate, and Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and Mark Levin are non-scholarly? It seems you are not open to reasoned and intelligent discussion since you have still failed to respond to any questions raised in any previous posts. I wish you well Sir! I am done with this topic.

    1. Mike Nitabach

      Do you know what the word “contemporary” mean?

  8. Craig Martin

    Mr. Newman (Paul),
    The problem is that when a civilian is killed by a branch of law enforcement the whole “system” rallies behind the defendant. Your right, the system gives you chance at justice but, only if you can get past the granting of Summary Judgement. Our son was killed accidentally by law enforcement and we are unable to have our day in court.
    System doesn’t work for the victim when law enforcement is the killer.

    Old English Law had recourse for these issues but, sadly over time the american legal system has been tilted and these remedies are gone.

    Rest in Peace Alex,
    We pray the Lord will seek swift and punishing vengeance.

    Craig Martin
    Father of Alex Martin
    Killed 03/15/15

  9. teh

    The debate will always go on and on…

    Unless the plaintiff one day become defendant, or else he/she wont understand..

    And the guilty become innocent…

    Law is not fair…

  10. Judson crow

    The concept of reasonable doubt, however phrased, implies not only a conscience, but also the ability to use such a powerful tool appropriately. Just because one is aware of what a syllogism is doesnt mean that their critical thinking is logically fastidious. H. L. Mencken said that one horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. In pursuit of justice I am afraid that we sometimrs get horse laughs rather than immacuatly constructed logic. J. L. Crow


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