Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Justice Rant

The firearms charges against many of Tame Iti's Flightless Circus have been dropped. Just a handful of charges remain, mainly for aggressive performance art. Justice delayed is justice denied and if you can't beat the system, stalemate it.

The rumble of thunder going through the blogosphere and elsewhere over the Cunningham decision to not impede a certain comedian's career in canned laughter continues. One of the latter examples is No Right Turn comparing the obiter dicta of two sentences and their very different punchlines.

Not wanting to demean the situation, but I know people who are in prison right now for sharing flowers amongst consenting adults. Surely their so-called crimes are less despicable than pissed stand-ups going down on forbidden fruit.

One of those people in prison is Dakta Green, who is experiencing the Private Prison system first hand; the Serco Circus Experience as it is known. In some ways, the prison reflects the justice system, in that it is increasingly user pays.

May the most expensive lawyer win. Good luck to everyone else stuck with Public Defender Lotto. In the unlikely event that the wealthy lose their case and are actually sent to prison, conveniences such as in-cell widescreen TVs can be had for a fee. If you're too poor to buy the services, hopefully you'll double-bunk with a former finance company director.

In other Justice News, Medical cannabis campaigner Billy Mckee's next court hearing was unexpectedly postponed. Billy only found out on Monday through his lawyer that his day in Levin court wasn't todasy as planned, but now scheduled for October 12th.

It usually isn't the defendant who holds up things in court proceedings, as VRWC bloggers have argued. It wasn't the Defence that paused Billy's path through the justice system's large intestine. It was either a court or prosecution hold-up. Maryjane the Cannabus was planning to drive down in support Billy, and suddenly all this is put screaming to a halt due to the fickle court system.

The weight and complexity of the Crown can take almost all the time it wants to persecute their target, with resources far beyond the muster of the regular citizen. It is the defendant who is more out of pocket when they are called up, postponed and generally given the run-around while the bureaucracy sharpens its knives.

There is too much cash and bling skewing the scales of justice. Guilt and innocence are increasingly being determined by the ability to pay. Scale and proportion are out of kilter. Ethics don't even some into the equation any more. That principle died the same way as reasonable doubt and universal suffrage. Strangled by a government which is also eyeing up removing the right to silence, the right to a trial by peers not lords.

Wanna hear a joke? New Zealand's Justice System.