The Trump Convictions Reveal a Broken Justice System

The day that the former president was convicted of 34 felonies was the anniversary of the execution of St. Joan of Arc. She had been convicted by the judicial system of her time for an alleged series of crimes even though the reason she was on trial was about politics. Her victories were her real offenses against the system. She paid the price for challenging the powers that be of her time. In the arc of history, her loss was really a victory over her accusers whose machinations made her both a heroine and a saint.

Chesterton was once upbraided for supposedly lacking faith in the judicial system. He remarked that his skepticism had to do with the fact that the founder of his religion had had a bad experience with the legal structures of his time.

The indefatigable Alan Dershowitz would not have the same premise as Chesterton but said that the trial of the ex-president was a disgrace that made the old phrase “banana republic” come to his restless mind. The legal maneuvers of the opponents of President Trump may seem to his opponents the end of his extraordinary political career, but they have only to look at the president of Brazil to know that criminal conviction does not necessarily prevent reelection by the people. It would be hard to imagine two more ideologically diverse politicians than Lula da Silva and Mr. Trump, but the former’s trajectory from, as The New York Times described it, “the presidency to prison and back,” cannot be ruled out as impossible for the latter.

The celebration of the verdict by political partisans might not be so prolonged. Sir Robert Walpole made a very pithy comment about the conflict between Spain and Great Britain that was later known as the War of Jenkins’ Ear. “They may ring their bells now,” said the British Prime Minister, “before long they will be wringing their hands.”

Perhaps it is my pastor’s perspective that makes me think that. I know many persons who have been on the wrong side of the law, both literally and in its working out in personal circumstances. Dickens’ Mr. Bumble (in Oliver Twist), who concluded that “the law was an ass—an idiot” because it presumed a wife was under the control of her husband, would not have a hard time convincing some of my faithful who “caught” cases and then succumbed to the despair involved in plea deals. The law seems to show favorites more frequently than not.

One of my parishioners explained he had spent two years in prison for a DUI when others get off with lighter sentences and told me that it was because his lawyer was only a “public pretender.” I do not mean to disparage a whole class of professionals by the bon mot, but I have seen for myself the aggressive nature of prosecutors who will do anything to keep their statistics of convictions high and public defenders who have been assigned so many cases that their first acquaintance with their client is in the hallway of the courtroom minutes before a hearing.

While I am not particularly fond of the aphorism that a pastor should have the same odor as his sheep, and despite the fact that I have admired some lawyers and judges I have met, I have a certain skepticism about courts and verdicts, probably a contagion I picked up from some of my faithful. Twice in recent years I have been called to jury duty and have waited around legal bullpens enough to be a bit disenchanted with some glimpses of the men and women handling the ropes and pulleys behind the proverbial wizard’s curtain in the Emerald City of legal pretension.

Read the Whole Article

The post The Trump Convictions Reveal a Broken Justice System appeared first on LewRockwell.

Leave a Comment