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Unjust justice system
The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” (Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865.)
Slavery in what would become these United States was legally established in the British Colony of Virginia in 1652, when the first true African-American, one Mr. Anthony Johnson, sued his neighbor, a Mr. Robert Parker, for the return of a Mr. John Casor, a man that Johnson claimed was his slave for life. The courts eventually ruled in favor of Johnson, and Mr. Casor gained the unfortunate distinction of being the first legally recognized slave in the English colonies.
Slavery would unfortunately continue in the colonies until 1776 when the colonies united in their declaration of independence, and it would then continue in parts of the Union until the end of the very uncivil war and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, 213 years in total. While technical slavery ended 156 years ago, it has continued through the justice system through the incarceration of the poor and uneducated, with a class that includes a high percentage of minorities.
While the current judicial system was not designed to keep those with a low income in poverty, it none the less does so in reality. As a former law enforcement officer, I can confirm that in training that those who drove an old beater of a car were more highly targeted for observation of potential traffic infractions, much more so than any new luxury car was. The police are rewarded with “job security” when they bring in “revenue” through ticketing, arrests and property forfeiture.
Once an infraction was observed, a traffic stop would be initiated and a ticket issued for the original infraction. Then, now stopped, the driver and any passengers would be observed for any signs of intoxication or drug use. Also, permission would be requested to search the vehicle.
Unfortunately, most citizens are unaware that they have a constitutional right to refuse any search without a warrant. And then, once the vehicle is searched, any evidence of possible crimes would be dealt with, everything from one single seed of cannabis, to an open container of alcohol, to a legally possessed firearm. Additional tickets will be written, or the offender taken into custody and transported to the police station for processing, all while nice cars continue to pass by on the road.
Once charged, fines, plus added court costs, keep low-income folks poor or in jail. And now, broke after payment of fines, the poor are left unable to afford to repair their broken headlight/taillight. Or, unable to afford to pay their fines, a warrant is issued, with jail time, loss of job and the loss of vehicle so they can’t find a new job. Meanwhile, anyone with any sort of wealth simply hires an attorney and either gets their charges dropped or pays the fine and continues life, having suffered only a minor inconvenience to their daily schedule, or their bank account.
When it comes to more serious offenses, public defenders are not equally funded as are prosecutors. There are too few public defenders, overloaded with too many cases, often are only able to obligate about 10 to 15 minutes per case before a trial, leading to many innocent or low-income persons accepting a plea deal, and regardless of their innocence, admitting guilt in order to avoid the maximum penalty of prolonged jail and/or imprisonment.
Because prosecutors use plea bargains to get high conviction rates that in turn lead to a more successful track record and better pay for themselves, judges no longer get to review the details of each case and simply make judgments based upon the arranged plea deal.
Of all the nations in the world, the United States prisoner rate is the world’s highest, at 639 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, communist China’s rate is only 121 per 100,000 people, and Russia’s rate is 341 per 100,000 people. And what does the United States do with the world’s highest prison population? It forces those prisoners into forced labor, as condoned by the 13th Amendment that ended slavery in these United States.
The system is rigged. The War on Drugs has failed and only ruined the lives of many people that only had an addiction issue, that hurt no one but themselves, and were it not for Nixon’s War on Drugs as a “F.U.” to the hippies of the late 60s and early 70s, would have broken no laws that the average alcoholic may have broken.
It’s time to end the War on Drugs and cut the federal budget for it, and instead spend a fraction of that money for attempted rehabilitation of drug addicts and to empty the prisons of their unofficial slave labor.