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Since Tuesday of this past week, I have listened in amazement while several young lawyers bantered around such age-old terms as, free will, rights, spirit of the law, letter of the law, and reasonable doubt as though EVERYONE has a clue as to what they actually mean. Yes, everyone—with the exception of most of the non-lawyers in attendance—clearly demonstrated an understanding of these terms as defined by the academicians. However, when a person’s life is at stake, or at the very least, an individual’s freedom and/or financial well-being, I think we need to spend less time on adhering to process for its own sake and more time on factual substance.
Lawyers specialize in separating Muska Linnaeus excrement out of cubeb. Like me, you’re all probably more familiar with the technical term: flicking fly shit out of pepper. It’s a primary requirement for successful obfuscation; though, we’re all more familiar with its technical meaning, which is making something unnecessarily complicated.
Lawyers can spend days, weeks, months, years, and in some cases, a decade arguing the difference between the “spirit” of a law and its “letter.” It stands to reason, too. After all, lawyers typically charge by the hour. Actually, with the sophisticated billing software that many lawyers use today, they bill by the minute. I’m not going to dwell on this, because I do not want people to accuse me of separating Muska Linnaeus excrement out of cubeb! You have your definition of “is” and I have mine. Let’s leave it at that.
It hasn’t always been like this. Back in my post-collegiate beginnings—shortly after the Romans crucified Jesus—lawyers got to the point quicker, and about more important things, than they do today. There were fewer of them because it took actual brains to get into law schools; and, it took even more brains to graduate. For the most part, it was an honorable profession. This is not altogether true today, thanks to a proliferation of second and third-tier law schools bent on admitting and graduating people, as long as they can anti-up the tuition and breathe independent of resuscitators.
Judges deserve some criticism, too. I don’t mean all of them, not even most of them; but there are enough of them to clog the system to a virtual halt on occasion. It seems to me that the judges of yesteryear, on average, were of a more stoic caliber. They were less nervous about appellate rulings and more concerned with common sense legal application. Some of them would have crucified lawyers for many of the things they routinely get away with today.
While judges have always been verbose in terms of their written opinions, it seemed to be so only to an extent dictated by minimal legal necessity. Today, however, rampant verbosity is the rule and it has nothing to do with necessity, either. Unlike many of today’s lawyers, some present-day judges don’t obfuscate. Instead, lots of them have raised the intellectualization of simplicity—um, mental masturbation—to new art form. Perhaps they think this is necessary for consideration to an appointment or election to a higher court. Or, maybe they just like to hear themselves talk. My guess is that it’s a combination of the two.
This would all be laughable were it not for the fact that so many people find themselves caught in the middle of it all. What aroused my interest in all of this and the reason I even bring it up, was my introduction to a nineteen-year-old pregnant woman undergoing drug rehabilitation in a level four prison facility.
From the age of 14-years, this kid had lived with a crack-cocaine addicted mother who had a history of four arrests and convictions for possession and use. Each time a judge sent her to a level four drug rehabilitation program. Her recidivism rate was 100%; but each time she regained custody of her child. The last time ended with her mother’s incredibly caring boyfriend raping the daughter a month after her 18th birthday. Her own mother, high on crack, helped hold her down.
The point of this is not how hideous a mother can be. Both she and the boyfriend are in prison for what they did. They’ll be lucky if someone doesn’t kill them while they are there. The criminal justice system made short work of dispensing justice where they were concerned. The daughter, however, is another story.
She began using methamphetamines, one of the most powerfully addictive substances in existence, after she found out she was pregnant from the rape. She refused an abortion because she said that it was against her religion. About three months ago, the police arrested her for possession and use. A judge sent her to a mandatory level four drug rehabilitation program because of her pregnancy. She’s been there four months.
No one has come to visit her. No one writes to her. She has no means of monetary support. Consequently, she can’t even buy stamps or so much as a bottle of water from the common room vending machines. She’s been suffering from a rash that seems to be spreading all over her body. She’s afraid it’s going to affect the baby. Yet, they have not let a doctor check it out. I assure you that this young woman will not forget this.
Perhaps if the lawyers were not so busy separating Muska Linnaeus excrement out of cubeb and the judges were not as consumed with intellectualizing simplicity, they’d have the time to kick some serious ass over at the Department of Corrections. It shouldn’t take this long to get this young woman the help she needs. She’s NOT an isolated case, either.
I’ll be back next week.[flick][flick][flick]…
Joseph Walther is a freelance writer and publisher of The True Facts. Copyright laws apply to all material on this site. Send your comments. Just click here.