American Justice

In my youth, I would rather run wild in the woods than watch Television but on rainy days or when it was too dark and cold in winter to be outside, there were books and Television. One family favorite was Perry Mason that intrepid seeker of truth who was part detective and part Defense lawyer who got his clients off by seeking the truth and inevitably finding the guilty party.

Well, this vision is pretty much bullshit in our modern world. Law is no longer about a noble lawyer in a battle to learn the truth. It is a combative blood sport played by pugnacious lawyers out to win at all cost. The outcome of the trial is not a matter or guilt or innocence but simply a battle to tell the most believable story and score a win for the story teller. The fact that justice may or may not be served is somewhat irrelevant.

The art of story telling is so important that it is now taught in law schools all over the nation and there is  a national ranking of law schools that teach Trial Advocacy or how to develop a detailed story which will allow you to win your case.

Now the following brief description of the new system of American Justice is very jaded:

Each party to a trial has the opportunity to tell a story…The person who succeeds in telling the most persuasive story should win….Devising the story you tell at trial is a creative process since the facts in the case file will almost always be subject to multiple interpretations. To imagine the most persuasive trial story, imagine a series of alternative scenarios and assess each for its clarity, simplicity, and believability..

This is a pretty disgusting view of American Justice but it’s exactly that taught by Prosecutor, Jill Trumbull-Harris, as she wrote the book with a coauthor and that’s a quote from page 19 of the book. It’s easy to see how this attitude would corrupt the justice system especially when used by the government prosecutor in a trial. An overbearing government can coach witnesses, include or disallow evidence and tell any story they want with impunity. (I mean who polices the police or prosecutes the Prosecutor?) The job of the government is no longer to solve the crime and seek justice but to tell the best story and win the case.

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One Response to “American Justice”

  1. Jill Trumbull Harris, the Pied Piper of Witnesses « The Gonzo Fat Savage Lifestyle Says:

    […] You really should check the original version of both the Pied Piper Story and Trial Advocacy to see how close I stick to the title. I will get to the Pied Piper in a moment, but a pretty close description of trial advocacy is presented as it was written by Jill Trumbull Harris in a previous post. […]

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