Lost In Translation: Guilt

So recently, in class, I had to write a paper on Mapp v. Ohio, and the textbook was easily one of the most biased things I’ve seen in a while. Especially at a college level.

While proponents of Mapp only ‘state’, and ‘argue persuasively’, while its opponents only ‘believe’, ‘claim’, and ‘argue’. Such wording as, “this perspective is well-supported…” (without any statistical, analytical, or even anecdotal evidence to support this claim), or ‘they argue quite persuasively… and it [their opinion] is true…’ without –again –any sort of evidence to back this up.

But that was almost incidental, really. As a Criminal Justice student, I’ve seen a lot of these cases numerous times, and I find I’m constantly in the minority when discussing them.

Because here’s the thing: what constantly gets lost in a lot of these cases from the sixties is the fact that these people -Dollree Mapp, Ernesto Miranda, Meyes and Douglas, etc., -were guilty as sin.

While the officers in Dollree Mapp’s case were wrong, and should have been punished, the fact that Mapp was a career criminal (she’d worked as a numbers racketeer for twelve years, and was dating her boss), the suspected bomber was found in her home, racketeering paraphernalia, and an illegal firearm.

Ernesto Miranda confessed to kidnapping and raping an eighteen year old girl. The girl positively identified his voice, and Ernesto picked the girl out, saying that ‘That’s the girl.’ Miranda verbally gave his confession, and then wrote it all down, signing it, and the section where it said the confession was given freely with no coercion.

Meyes and Douglas were convicted of assault, robbery, and assault with intent to commit murder.

But this was the hay day of the Warren Court! When liberals owned the U.S. Supreme Court lock, stock, and barrel. When the Supreme Court started inventing rights left and right, to insure that the guilty weren’t anymore likely to be arrested than the innocent. We’re talking about a Supreme Court that ruled that making narcotics addiction a criminal act was unconstitutional.

We live in a society that can trace a majority of its issues directly back to Earl Warren’s days as Chief Justice. We no longer want to punish criminals, but rehabilitate them. We’re not allowed to encourage good behavior, and punish bad behavior. We live in a world where we’re not supposed to say juvenile delinquents, but rather ‘justice involved youths’. Where we routinely release violent criminals years early for ‘good behavior’ (often, ignoring the brutal crimes that put them there).

A country that’s criminal justice system has gone barking mad.

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