Occasionally, I return to several small but salient books on the matter of tyranny…the state—and this is one of those time…as the deep, Dark Winter is upon us. But this nothing new under the sun, for indeed, tyranny has been around for as longs as king’s have been; that absolute power leads to absolute corruption.
One necessity for a tyranny is the standing justice system; in fact, a tyrant will not be so without first ensuring that the so-called justice system is in his hands, his heavy hand. In the U.S., this justice system is anything but just, having long circumvented due process, the described “rights of the defendant” essentially eradicated per the plea bargain.
In circumventing due process, “the rights of the defendant”, this system has fostered the largest penal system in the world, both in term of % of population incarcerated and/or as wards of the state and in actual numbers. Since around 1970, or when President Nixon declared his war on drugs, the penal system has expanded in unseen numbers, the condition described as “warehousing criminals”.
Compelling a defendant to testify against himself or self-incriminate, the plea bargain is a direct violation of the 5th Amendment; “no witness shall be compelled to self-incriminate”.
The plea bargain is expedience, not due process, whereby the end—which is to punish—justifies the means. Thus, this system is truly a system of punishment, the charge(s) in effect the sentence—never mind any notions of a trial, but rather guilt merely a matter of time and pressure, a confession by force, the heavy hand.
Once released, the thought-to-be ex-con is in actuality a permanent member of the penal system, made do by the long arm that maintains criminal records for public perusal, often disclosed in a criminal background check and more often disqualifying the thought-to-be ex-con from any normalcy of life, a so-called "citizen”.
As it seems, the long arm ensures that once a criminal always a criminal, right?
Only for those lacking the power to, post-sentence, expunge or “seal” records; for as it is (and always has been), justice comes at a price, the cost of which is not only the purposed abrogation of due process.