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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Justice or the pursuit of an agenda?

Several times in recent years I have watched the media circus attack some high profile "offender" in the run-up to their trial. The Press is, of course, only interested in a story which will attract sales, not in justice, but their pursuit of "truth" and "public interest" often compromises the first principle of "justice" which is that the accused must be presumed innocent until the prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that the person is guilty. This legal "nicety" is invariably ignored by the media circus and one is left with the impression that merely to be accused is to be guilty.

This flows through into a number of "crimes" in our modern PC society. Teachers accused of misconduct or "abuse" are suspended, tried by often furiously biased bureaucrats more interested in making sure they are seen to 'act to protect the child' than in justice, and their lives and careers destroyed by the misreporting and misrepresentation of the media. It certainly doesn't help that every two bit politician immediately jumps on the band wagon and starts giving "briefings" and making political statements about the case. Small wonder then that most people no longer believe that courts can deliver either justice or be unbiased.

In fact, one very successful legal professional I know tells me bluntly that if I am looking for "justice" I will not find it in a court of law. As he puts it, the courtroom is the scene for a complex 'game' played by two legal teamswith a Judge as referee and a jury as an audience. The best theatrical performer wins.

As the Americans have probably noticed, the State of New York is having difficulty finding a jury for a certain high profile case at present. Why? The "rules" require that potential jurors should not have been unduly exposed to the facts of the case before the trial. With the media circus in full cry, I suspect they'll have to go to Afghanistan to find anyone that fits that bill!

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