ABA President’s Backwards Message: “personal attacks on judges and prosecutors must cease”
Those who have been wrongly entangled in the criminal justice system know its injustices. Those who have been belittled by a judge, lied about in a police report, or forced into a plea deal – know all too well – the United States criminal justice system is absolutely flawed. The truth does not, “always set you free.” In fact, it seldom does. Some, who have had their entire life unjustly ruined by the system, fight to exercise their right to redress their grievance, once they are free to do so. Some try to educate others and move on. Still others hide in fear of being wrongfully arrested, charged, and convicted again.
One thing is certain, there is an uptick on the personal attacks on judges and prosecutors. American Bar Association (ABA) President, Judy Perry Martinez recently stated at the ABA meeting in Austin, Texas, that, “The personal attacks on judges and prosecutors must cease.” A “standing ovation” followed. Remember, this was at a conference where many attorneys, including judges and prosecutors were in attendance. What Martinez said next, is a great indicator as to why the “personal attacks” are increasing. Martinez said, “No one – no one – should interfere with the fair administration of justice.” What her words really meant – to non-lawyer laypersons like us – is, we should not complain about injustice. You see, those who are in the know understand that injustices by many judges and prosecutors, has replaced justice. And, they most often get away with it. The reality of her words weighs much heavier on those who know how flawed our system is. When someone has ultimate power, say a prosecutor for example, and is also immune from liability for their actions when they ruin innocent lives – they should become public enemy number one. Perhaps this is where ABA President Martinez really disconnects from the citizens whom she claims to be personally attacking her ilk.
Seeking justice is what prosecutors and judges are supposed to do. And some do just that. However, far too many prosecutors have violated their oath by putting their blinders on in pursuit of convictions. Same with judges. Judges often belittle the very people who pay their salary. We have all seen it. Prosecutors by and large are mostly concerned with convictions, not justice. A corrupt prosecutor will say, “throw enough charges at the person so they won’t take the case to trial. Offer a plea for a year or two, instead of life in prison if they go the trial route. That will ensure we get a plea deal.” Just like that – the case is resolved, and the prosecutor gets another conviction to hold up to their voters, despite, in many cases, the defendant being innocent. This happens far too often. Simply put, most statistics show that anywhere between 90-97% of all criminal matters in both state and federal courts are resolved this way. And its not because everyone charged is guilty. Not by a long shot.
The United States has the highest incarceration rate, per-capita, of any developed country. Yes, there are under-developed countries that do horrific things to alleged criminals. That is truly sad. But the United States is supposed to be the “land of the free,” right? Do we really have the highest crime rates of any developed country? Or, has our system, through people like ABA President Martinez, perverted justice to the point where it is losing public trust at warp-speed? Perhaps Martinez should re-consider her words and realize that nothing could be further from the truth. Judges and prosecutors should reconsider their actions. They should not allow for the stacking of charges to force plea deals. They should not allow defendants to be treated like lower class citizens. They should not always rule in favor of the police, and they shouldn’t cover-up for the corruption in their own ranks.
If bar associations were really concerned about justice, they wouldn’t routinely toss out bar complaints when attorney’s financially rape their clients and/or violate their oaths.
It is highly doubtful, however, that people like Martinez will change. Many of her words at the recent ABA meeting, were disgustingly false and lacked an honest appraisal of the system. She, and attorneys like her need not worry about personal attacks, rather, they should worry about doing what is right, just, and lawful. The personal attacks would cease if the corruption ended.
U.S. Citizens need to wake up and realize that We The People have let ourselves become modern day slaves to a system that allows for the innocent to be incarcerated! Not sometimes. Not accidentally. The innocent are imprisoned daily because their case is just one more possible conviction to hold up to voters come election day. Enough is enough.
Martinez’s message should have been an apology. It should have been reformatory. But it wasn’t.
Martin Luther King, Jr. aptly recognized that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The personal attacks should and will continue until the ABA, judges, the police, even the government as a whole, realize the weight of King’s words and the truth of their sentiment.
Our government, and this system of justice are formed by the consent of the people. For the sake of justice, perhaps it is time to revoke that consent.
Editor’s Note: The US~Observer prides itself on holding corrupt prosecutors and judges accountable. We won’t stop until the corruption ceases.