Philip K. Howard: Four ways to fix a broken legal system (TED2010 talk)

This was one of my favourite talks at TED2010. Worth a viewing - Mr. Howard makes a lot of good sense.

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He's not seeing all of it.

Look at the TSA, a huge number of 'authorities' that can apply 'the law' anyway they see fit, including ordering a child to remove his leg braces and walk. Everybody at every level of government becomes an 'authority' and will enjoy the exercise of power.

We started out with jury trials to limit official authority, but over the years the jury system has been completely corrupted. Voir dire has as its sole purpose weeding out people who won't return a guilty verdict. Further, judges feel free to ignore jury decisions, declaring a 'mistrial' to all a retrial, or simply having a 'bench trial' where the judge ignores the jury and makes his own verdict.

Worse yet, when the jury decision is split, those who do not want to vote 'guilty' will be coerced in hopes of wearing them down and making them give in. Even worse, the holdouts will be booted from the jury and replaced with alternates.

The judicial system is there to find the accused guilty. And authorities are there to force people to obey them. The government is in the business of scaring the people for profit.

This is no path to freedom.

By Nattering Nabo… (not verified) on 22 Feb 2010 #permalink