Is our Legal System Failing?
Many individuals feel we currently have a judicial system that is failing the people. On the other hand, those who work in the system feel that the public overall credits them with having more power, control and ability to make decisions that they do not have the legal power to make or enforce.
Organizations like Equal Justice & Reform Project are establishing themselves to counteract what they see as “our current failing judicial system” (Reform, 2007). This non-profit organization was established to pool the strength and voices together of those who they see as having fallen victim to “unjust sentencing guidelines” and other failings within our judicial system. This organization is just one of many that are forming in order to support what many see as a broken judicial system in need of a change for the better. This particular organization is dedicated to the 3 R’s of “Rehabilitation, Restoring Families and Restoring Freedom” (Reform, 2007).
When the “Albuquerque News” ran an article “Man arrested on 28th DWI charge” the following days editorials and online comment blogs far exceeded the length of the original article stating such things as this is just one “pathetic example of our failing judicial system” (Albuquerque, 2007).
However, others believe the judicial system isn’t failing, we’re just seeing the results of our society’s failings within our judicial system. The reason most cases end up in the judicial system is because of our society having already failed those persons or things involved that are then dumped within that system.
Although law enforcement is often blamed for what some feel is a failing judicial system, police departments all over feel that the public lacks the awareness of what exactly they are allowed to do within the system.
From an article in the “Delta Democrat Times” in Mississippi, Sgt. Timothy Elzy responded to criticisms against their Department when a 15-year-old girl is murdered and the community blames it on the police department and the repeated failure of our overall judicial system.
Sgt. Elzy responds “it is society and the people who we vote into office who write the laws that failed.” The police can only uphold the laws that are written for them to uphold. Many think there are actions that police and the court can take in advance before something gets to a point of no return. However, all too often there is not. Sgt. Elzy states that “when a complaint is filed, we can legally investigate that complaint. If charges are filed, arrests are made and they would be brought before the court as required to answer to those charges. The Police Department has no power to convict anyone, or carry out a sentence” (Elzy, 2007).
There is often a lack of awareness on what exactly individuals think law enforcement officers and the courts can do while staying within the laws they must adhere to. Just like the redundant saying, “their hands are often tied” to do that which many citizens feel they should be able to do. It only magnifies the importance of the people we vote into our offices who will then write laws we feel are laws that need to be written to represent our views and values while at the same time improving our legal system.
(2007, March 18). Albuquerque NM Blog. Retrieved June 3, 2007, from Topix Web site:
Elzy, T (2007, May 30). Retrieved June 3, 2007, from Delta Democrat Times Web site:
(2007). Reform Project. Retrieved June 2, 2007, from Equal Justice & Reform Project
Web site: http://www.equaljusticereformproject.com/aboutus.html