4.13.2007

ARTopinion: Justice for all?
A general question: is it possible that this happens more often than we realize?

NOTE: This blog exists for a number of reasons; artists who are functioning in the 21st century need to focus on all aspects of life in order to create artworks which speak to our current experience. Sometimes art takes on unusual forms, including ethical as well as political ones. JZB

Rogue prosecutors (as in the Duke University rape case) are repeatedly operating in an unfettered manner within our justice system, practicing a kind of overt bullying upon those who do not have the resources to adequately defend themselves. The legal system may be manipulated more often than citizens realize by power hungry individuals who do have access, opportunity and the ability to influence prosecution (frequently for personal reasons/agendas).

The case of the Duke University LaCrosse players brings this frightening issue to light and dramatically illustrates how the legal system is used all too regularly to exert authority over those less powerful and with less ability to defend themselves.

Innocent until proven guilty? A brilliant notion in the ideal sense, however one which is sometimes under practiced in the United States, particularly in situations where there is likely relaxed or non existent citizen participation in government or legal/judicial oversight and where the weak or less powerful have no option except to submit to those in positions of authority. Prosecutors are allowed a very (too?) broad scope of clout and one can only imagine that the temptation toward the misuse of such power is always present. Without an extremely ethical character, a prosecutor can easily become a sanctioned criminal, as has happened with Mike Nifong and with many others, one might assume.

If you have ever known anyone or have yourself been a victim of such rogue (albeit “legal”) aggression, you will also have felt the frightening vacuum which accompanies such a hideous experience: that excessive void of personal power, a lack of rights, and complete helplessness.

Just a thought.



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14 comments:

your katgirl said...

Funny thing... I think this kind of rogue/criminal behavior may have also ocurred in Weaverville California as well?
:|
~KG

sfmichel said...

Can superintendents of local school districts for rogue prosecutors to do their bidding?
Yup, I have seen it happen!
Sick and twisted....

sfmichel said...

Meant to say that superintendents of local school districts FORCE (or influence) rogue prosecutory behavior.
Still, just the same, very sick and twisted...

nancyrat said...

This is scary and all too true.

Artenia said...

What is happening to our judicial system when people can even attempt to operate in this way? Prosecutors perhaps need more supervision or oversight.
Very scary... very!

marthe martinsin said...

How can cases be brought against people when there is no evidence to support it? Doesn't this waste taxpayer money? Big time waste? And who answers for that? I have to think that many people who are accused and or convicted have to be innocent if this kind of situation exists as it does now.
Very afraid, I am.

sandy rodentia said...

I remember something like this happening in Weaverville California not too long ago... don't you?

i luv u said...

The twisted sisters attacked. It was terrible to be in such a formidable situation. I remeber it all too well: the prosecutor was a pawn and justice didn't prevail until long after the damage had been done. Life isn't fair though, is it?

michael b mock said...

I have been there myself and know that such a horrible situation is no fun at all. It has happened to a lot of people -- anybody remember the railroading of Martha Stewart? Kind of frightening to think that it can and does happen in this country.

Allie W. said...

I think the Duke case is very very scary and I wonder how many other people have had a similar experience without the legal resources to adequately defend themselves? Can accusations be made without significant evidence? Is it truly possible that people can be tried without supporting evidence and with intent to convict thme and imprison them?
-Allie

Ray Evans said...

This kind of thing happens all the time in small towns where justice is often a one sided process and where law enforcemnt types are afforded far more power than they could ever earn in a more civilized situation. Especially if the "perpetraitor" has little or no access to the proper defense within the court system. I have seen it myself - and it is the bad and ugly side of a democracy or the democratic process - where all too powerful prosecutors and authoritariarn sheriff's deputies take the law into their own hands regularly. Justice? Is it possible? I sometimes wonder.
Nice piece,
Ray

joel said...

Yeah, yeah... Iagree. The Duke University thing makes us all rethink the meaning of the "justice" in our Justice System. It is pretty awful when something can get carried away this far and this far off base. Where is the balance of power? And what the hell has happened with Don Imus? (Speaking of unbalanced justice). Wow, I hope nobody gets annoyed with that comment.
Anyway, liked what you wrote and it made me want to write in.

indie sweetie said...

Rap on?

Alma Stevenson said...

Sometimes I wonder what is becoming of our world: is this (the Duke University Lacrosse)thing media generated or is it a glaring symptom of a process going (gone?) bad? The rule of law is so important to our democratic way of life and if it cannot be trusted, then we all have a whole lot to worry about, let me tell you. I worry that our country is slowly - or maybe more like quickly - falling into decay. Sorry to be so wordy.