“In the Criminal Justice System the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime and the District Attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.”
So began the long-running television series “Law and Order.” The program showed the criminal justice system in two segments, with the first half involving an incident being investigated by a team of detectives and the second half showing the prosecution.
The program was characterized by often showing the hard cases, where the “good guys” did not always win, but both halves of the show displayed the men and women working with integrity to see justice done.
But what it that was not the case? What if the police and the prosecutors were not really representing the people and seeing that justice was being carried out, but instead were obtaining convictions, by any means.
We like to believe that could not happen here. The U.S. does not have the type of legal corruption that existed in the USSR or some Third-World nations.
So one judge perhaps believed, until he uncovered evidence that demonstrated unequivocally that one county sheriff’s department and the county’s district attorney’s office had conspired to illegally withhold information and use jailhouse snitches to obtain confessions, and in some cases where the confessions were not forthcoming, they fabricated them.
The judge discovered that this was not a “one off” circumstance, but that these two representatives of the people had a database that contained records stretching back 25 years, and that both of these representative of the people had conspired to lie and cover-up the existence of this program.
This, apparently, made the judge angry. (cont.)
Slate.com, “You’re All Out,” Dahlia Lithwick, May 28, 2015