Friday, November 09, 2012

Victim’s Rights, Show Trials and American Courts

Former Congresswoman Gabby Gifforrds leaving the Tucson federal courthouse.
Tucson, AZ—Our American founding fathers never considered the need for what we call Victim’s Rights.  Anyone accused of a crime has real rights that must be protected.  This is obviously to prevent wrongful convictions.  It’s also to prevent government officials from targeting people for persecution for any number of nefarious reasons.
When we become victimized by a criminal act it is expected that we have a desire to exact revenge and show hatred against the offender.   The more serious the offense the more hate and anger is expressed by the victim and of course their family and friends.
We hold the accused to account in our criminal trials.  In a criminal trial a victim was never intended to be anything more than a witness.  Witnesses really don’t need any special rights of any kind.  Their job is to simply testify truthfully.
The victim is never allowed to apply any punishment.  I think is only natural that many victims want to experience throwing the switch on the electric chair and such.   There has never been justice for victims or any person.
Victims can only attempt to gain the power to punish the offender in a civil court.  If the offender has any assets they can be awarded to the victimized.  The problem here is most criminals have nothing and a victory in a civil court rings hollow.
Prosecutors seem to universally hate fair trials and the protections that guarantee them, because some of those accused are acquitted.   They want total control over the evidence and the punishment.  Prosecutors already have the ability to manipulate witness testimony through giving witnesses who are criminals, immunity from prosecution.  That lets them escape any responsibility for their own crimes. 
Prosecutors are now free to use the fragile emotional state of the victims as tools in court sentencing proceedings.  They have done this by obtaining court rule changes such as allowing for victim impact statements. 
Prosecutors love to mislead anyone and everyone that a successful prosecution and application of punishment bring closure to victims.  There is no closure but for the healing effects of time. 
Still prosecutors want to parade frightened, crying victims before the court to exact maximum penalties against the accused.  This charade has no real effect except to provide a garish public spectacle.  Judges are not supposed to be swayed by these actions.
Prosecutors are politicians and love this garbage to use in their future political campaigns.  Justice is perverted and twisted to aid political propaganda.
Yesterday in a Tucson Federal courthouse, prosecutors put on such a show.  A deranged mass killer was due to receive a maximum prison sentence that insured he’d never be released.  There was no trial because the accused pled guilty to his crimes.   That plea saved taxpayers untold millions in legal fees and court costs had this remained a death penalty case.
The plea and penalty was negotiated and the case closed for all practical purposes.  Still prosecutors summoned every victim to come into court to stare down the killer and to address him with their angry statements.   Then they watched him get sentenced  and taken away to Club Fed.
Victim impact statements are rarely delivered by accomplished public speakers.  Instead the victims nervously read writings from scraps of paper that were prepared in advance.  There are no happy endings in any criminal court for anyone, even an acquitted defendant. 
Victims will never get justice in any court.  The criminal acts that brought on the prosecution cannot be undone.  The victims can’t be made whole by any court ruling.  It that’s ever going to happen it will be in the hereafter if there is one.
We have turned most of our courts into entertainment arenas complete with live television and now streaming Internet video.  Our trial are show trials appealing to the lowest common denominator of humanity.    Our trials are not about justice anymore but rather showmanship and prosecutor’s political campaigns.
Adolph Hitler and his PR genius, Josef Goebbels was among the first to put their show trials before motion picture cameras.  The Nazis then brought their idea of justice to the masses that watched those trial highlights at their local movie theaters.  I ask, have we progressed beyond that? 
Trials should be public but cameras just don’t belong in our courtrooms.  If you want to see a trial all you need to do is visit your local courthouse.  

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