Raymond J. de Souza: Criminal justice has a credibility problem — in Canada as well as the U.S.


Decades of police and prosecutorial abuses have demonstrated that it is right for us to be suspicious

The FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home has brought intense focus on America’s criminal justice system. Department of Justice is not in the custom of commenting upon ongoing criminal investigations, but an unusually chatty attorney general, Merrick Garland, held a press conference on the Trump raid, saying that he had asked the court to unseal the search warrant and the record of property seized due to «substantial public interest». Long concerned about abuse of police and prosecutorial power, I find myself reading, it seems every year, yet another «exposé» of how the criminal justice system gets it wrong.

Not even the naked emperor was as fully and thoroughly exposed

Consider the conclusion of a recent fine book by prominent American defence attorney David S. Rudolf, American Injustice. «In light of what we now know regarding wrongful prosecution and conviction rates in this country, we must face the harsh reality that our criminal justice system is not just fallible,» Rudolf writes, with a book’s worth of examples to back up his claim. Canadians are inclined to see the excesses of the American justice system and think we are better off. It may be because we just know less about how our system works.

I advise anyone to spend an afternoon in any public courtroom or regularly visit prisons and come to their own conclusions.

Source: Raymond J. de Souza | NP

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