Midnight in the garden of civil and criminal court

      Men should be treated equally under the law, but that does certainly not mean that all human lives have equal value. Some people create value for themselves and others; others are purely value destroyers. This should be reflected in both civil and criminal penalties. The following story shows the perversion of both systems, so common in today’s world.

      American juries always have 12 members. The first two juries in the Williams case managed to come to agreement in favor of a guilty verdict; the 3rd group had 11 in favor of a guilty verdict and one adamant hold –out, and was thus declared a mistrial. After all that, it only took the jury in the 4th trial one hour to unanimously come in with the Not Guilty verdict. If you try a case enough times, you’ll eventually get the result you want, which is why the Double Jeopardy clause prevents prosecutors, in most circumstances, from trying the same person more than once for any offense.

      To a large extent, both the criminal and civil justice systems are lotteries. 12 people in one place at one time give you one result; 12 people, or a judge, in a different place at a different time are likely to give you a very different result. That’s because the law is far more complex and confusing than it needs to be, and far too easily manipulated by lawyers, and also because Americans have no common, unambiguous moral code.

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