Mon, 28 September 2015
Depending on who you ask, the American justice system is the best in the world, or it has a long way to go to clean up its problems. Probably no surprise that we lean toward, "We have a lot to fix, but it could be worse."
But we're not Pollyannas because we probably spend more time this episode talking about what is wrong with justice in America than what's right.
* * *
We kick it off with a couple questions: Have you ever had an experience with the American criminal justice system? If so, what was the first?
America loves court-room dramas, so we jump on the bandwagon and talk about whether or not we've ever been to court as a plaintiff or defendant. (Since we've posted Shawn's mugshot before, you at least have a good guess with one of the Gorillamen...)
Then we jump to whether or not we have turned to the American justice system for any sort of legal recourse.
We talk about our impression of the American criminal justice system before devoting some time to whether or not our courts work...and what might work better?
Americans like to think we are fair, but do we really practice what we preach? (Innocent until proven guilty, reasonable doubt, etc.?) Also, do we think most people found guilty of crimes actually committed them?
We devote some time to whether or not mandatory sentences are good things, before talking about if we sentence people too harshly, too light, or all-out inconsistently.
Americans are often all, "USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!" but is it merited for the U.S. having the best justice system on the planet, or do other countries put us to shame? (Like...maybe at least a dozen or so?)
Finally, we wrap it up with how we'd change the current system.
We'd love to hear about any run-ins with the legal system (or just what you'd do if you were in charge) you've had in the comments.