May 2021

It’s time to reform the criminal justice system.

Over the last year, the focus has been on abolishing police unions, which many see as excessively violent, increasingly corrupt, and above the law in the way that they harrass some people while letting others off the hook. But there’s also a view that the police have a role in maintaining law and order during difficult times.

Either way, it’s not just about bad cops. The criminal justice system also includes fallible judges applying complicated and punitive laws. It’s no wonder mass incarceration has reached a record high. Things are now so bad with growing coronavirus outbreaks that those who can’t plan an epic prison escape would rather take their own lives than live in permanent lockdown.

Crime and punishment

You might think it doesn’t matter but it does. Not everyone in prison is a serial killer or drug lord on death row. There are many cases of people being wrongfully convicted based on false confessions or flawed testimony, as well as stories of those driven to their crimes by trauma or abuse. All they want is a second chance to start afresh.

So, how do we find justice for those who have been wronged by the system? Fortunately, you don’t have to become a vigilante who solves cold cases in a search for the truth. Just reconsider your views, as Marguerite Yourcenar writes in Memoirs of Hadrian (also available on Audible):

Scandalous crimes are readily punishable, and are insignificant in comparison with the thousands of routine atrocities perpetrated daily by correct but heartless people whom no one would think of questioning.

It’s never too late to think again.

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