Judicial Reform a Priority

Courtroom

Unforgivable actions by law enforcement in 2015 signaled a definite need for judicial reform in the United States. The right wing denies that fact, and blindly supports law enforcement. Red states, among others, are notorious for abuse by authorities based on race. Louisiana appears to lead in this atrocity.

There is a shortage of Public Defenders in Louisiana, directly affecting the poor and minorities. There are multiple causes, and now the ACLU is involved.

“Louisiana’s policy of funding public defenders has been problematic for quite some time because the system essentially is funded on the backs of the people who use it,” Marjorie Esman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Louisiana chapter, said during an interview with RT.

“What that means is if there a lot of traffic tickets written, there is more money into the system. If there are fewer tickets written there is less money into the system. Essentially, it is an unstable revenue source and it also means the poor people pay more heavily.”

This once again represents the truth about our justice system; if you are a low-income or poor American, you will be treated differently than a white, affluent citizen. The majority of those incarcerated in our prisons are the indigent and minorities. Rich people rarely go to prison.

Louisiana is suing the state of Louisiana citing the sixth amendment which guarantees the accused the right to an attorney. $472,000 has been cut from the section of the state budget which involves the hiring of public defenders.

Esman says that because the office is understaffed, current Public Defenders have insufficient time and resources to adequately perform their jobs, defending their clients.

It’s beginning to look like all of America needs to be reworked. Failures include our federal government, the criminal justice system, income inequality, women’s rights regarding every issue feminine and the workplace, education, racism is on the rise, the Constitution is under attack, and we can no longer accept the deaths of 33 innocent Americans every day from the use of a gun. There is a much longer list, but I don’t have the time.

Red states are consistent in one fact; they consider money far more important than people. The mantra of ‘big business first,’ and the ‘welfare of a state’s citizens second’ must cease.

This was ‘America,’ and I want to live to see its return.

Op-Ed

By James Turnage

Source

Photo Courtesy of Clyde Robinson

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