The legal system is driven by politics and the greed of lawyers, not justice. There is nothing profound about the way that laws are made: Politicians respond to interest group pressure to advance their political careers, occasionally modifying their actions based on political principle. Lawyers sue anyone on any pretext of getting a large, or huge, contingency fee. Bureaucrats swamp businesses with countless layers of Byzantine regulation. The criminal justice system is completely arbitrary, and depends more on the political climate of the times and the craftiness of lawyers than on the nature of the crime committed. A famous athlete may knife two people to death and go free, even with overwhelming evidence against him, by taking advantage of racial animosity.
Another man may walk into his brother’s home, kill him with a shotgun, and serve less than three years in prison. On the other hand, many people serve long jail sentences for victimless crimes such as possession or sale of drugs. Part of the problem with the modern legal system is that it is very unpredictable, as it relies so heavily on the irrational judgments of legislators, judges, and juries.
The prison population increases, but no more justice seems to be done. The death penalty is rarely implemented, due to lack of confidence in the system and misplaced sympathy for criminals.
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