What does justice really mean in America?
Justice in criminal matters does not mean the finding of guilt or innocence at the end of each case. In our legal system, it is giving both sides the opportunity for due process under our laws, and that the Prosecution and the Defense, after an arrest, have their day in court.
What does that really mean?
It means from the time of arrest until the case is over, the prosecution obtains all the evidence they can to achieve a conviction, from all sources, and, if needed, expert witnesses, etc. The defense has the opportunity to cross examine all witnesses, present their case, and the defendant can choose to testify or not, have their witnesses and expert witnesses testify, etc.
Also, both sides have the right to participate in trying to pick an impartial jury, both sides give over all discovery (all evidence, documents, written statements, photos, videos, etc.) they each have in possession, and they must turn it over to each other, before going to court.
Also, due process begins at the time of the arrest itself by the police. How arrested, questioning of the defendant, lawyers provided if cannot afford one, following the law regarding the gathering of evidence by each side and so on.
This is "DUE PROCESS," and if these procedures are followed as closely as possible, and there is a trial by a judge without a jury, or a jury trial is conducted with a sitting judge presiding over the trial who makes sure the evidence presented in court is legally appropriate under the law, then the final outcome, guilty or not guilty is called JUSTICE under the Laws in America.
Of course, whatever the outcome, either side might very well feel that "JUSTICE" was not served.
But, under our legal system, it is not the VERDICT which determines if there was JUSTICE. It is the giving of DUE PROCESS to the Prosecution and the Defense that determines what we call JUSTICE.
This is why there is such outrage by so many people who feel the grand jury in Staten Island, New York, should have sent the case further, and not cut-off the process at their low level. A grand jury does NOT determine guilt or innocence beyond a reasonable doubt, as is the burden of proof needed in a jury trial.
Also, they are not to decide IF they think a conviction can be made. Therefore, their only mandated job in this recent New York case was to determine if it appeared that a crime or crimes were possibly committed, and if the police officer or officers involved might have committed a crime, THEN they must send the case on to the next level.
I feel the video alone was more than sufficient to meet that low burden at the grand jury level. The defense had NO input at all in the case and no sitting judge was involved. This is why there is the honorable outrage from reasonable people. What do you think? I want to hear from you.
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