Court Employee

 

This page refers to jobs in the court systems at the State and Federal levels of government. You may be assisting a judge, or acting as his marshall or officer in hearings, or recording what is said, or scheduling the docket, receiving payments of fines, and so on. Or perhaps you look after the juries, making sure pool members answer all questions on the list and that their identities are recorded and secured. You are vital to the operation. Without you, government justice could not function; and as we know, "No justice, no peace." Justice - the righting of wrongs, the restoring of damaged rights, is the first requirement of a civilized and peaceful society.So what can be dishonest about that?

There's no suggestion here that you perform your job other than well and conscienciously. But if you visited the Mafia comparison page, you'll realize that you're being paid out of stolen money. There's one dishonest thing, and rather basic! What an irony; a court operates on stolen funds, to judge and punish acts of stealing among others. However, the dishonesty of what you are working to support runs far deeper yet.

Let's look in two stages at what you're working for. First, is it doing what it says it's doing, in an honest way? And second, does what it says it's doing consist of true justice? You will be up-close and familiar with the first; you may or may not have thought much about the second, yet it's even more important. We'll see that the answer to each of these is "no!"

1. Honest conduct is vital to a court's operation, yet it rather often falls well short of that standard. I enjoy court dramas, in movies and on TV, and always in fiction the right verdict is reached at the end; the bad guy gets his just desserts, and the accused innocent is found so after heroic work by his attorney. But in real life? - you have seen many more cases than I have, but my direct experience is very different. These are only anecdotes, but they are real. I've taken part three times in court; one was a trivial traffic case, another was a civil matter of medium importance, and the third was a major Federal criminal trial where I was a minor witness.

In the first, I was accused of operating a radar detector, contrary to CT law. However the cop (a) commanded me to show him the device and (b) didn't bother to make me sign the ticket. So in court, I denied that it had jurisdiction (signing tickets does that) and proved that the only evidence against me had been obtained by compulsion, contrary to Amendment Five. So obviously, I should have been declared Not Guilty, right? But in fact, the case was "nolled." I'd not heard that term, but it means the prosecutor erased it as if the accusation had never been brought, with the judge's concurrence. That's corrupt.

In the second, I had delivered goods to a firm in Fort Lauderdale, FL, under contract but it had failed to pay my bills; some $3,000 was past-due, so I sued the owners. I hired a young attorney from Miami on contingency, and we had the hearing. The respondent had no coherent defense, my paperwork was in order, and afterwards my attorney confirmed that a victory was a slam dunk. A week later, judgement was awarded to the debtor!  The lawyer was as amazed as I was, but had asked around for a possible explanation. It turned out to be easy: judges there are elected, and neither she nor I could vote in Fort Lauderdale. Both respondents could. Had the verdict favored me the judge would have lost two votes; as it was, he gained two. That's corrupt.

The third case concerned Irwin Schiff, who studied income tax law for many years and published his finding that in law, there isn't one. He was accused of evasion of tax, conspiracy, etc etc, in Nevada in 2005 and his entire (and entirely adequate) defense was that there exists no law that he might have broken.  The facts of the case were not much in dispute; it was all a question of what laws said and didn't say. Yet Judge Kent Dawson repeatedly refused to let the defendant even mention the written law at all, in the jury's hearing! He even sentenced him to time in prison each time he tried to do so! And in his "jury instructions" he blatantly lied to the jury about what an important,  specific statute states. Having been prevented from hearing a coherent defense, the jury's verdict was naturally Guilty. This honorable old gentleman is still serving a thirteen year sentence. That's viciously corrupt!

There's more. Juries are supposed to be available in all criminal cases and in all civil ones where more than $20 is in dispute; see for yourself, in Amendments Six and Seven. Yet in both of the first two cases above, my demand for a jury was refused. That's illegal!

More yet: juries are supposed (by tradition going back 1,300 years to Medieval England) to be "peers" of the accused. The word means, people like him, who know him. Village elders would sit in judgment on neighbors they knew, when wrongdoing was alleged; only then could they weigh all aspects of the matter and render a fair judgment. Yet if you work with jury selection, you know that jurors are often excluded if they are personally acquainted with the accused! Modern practice has justice upside down. You also know (yes?) that juries are supposed to judge both the law and the facts; and although a few jurisdictions now require judges to remind jurors of that, much more commonly (as in Mr Schiff's case above) the very opposite is deliberately done; jurors are told to take the judge's word for what the law says and not to question or consider it. Real justice would require that juries weigh all factors, including whether the pertinent law is good, fair and applicable in the case before them. Normally, they are expressly prevented from doing so. That's unjust!

2. Honest Justice is even more vital than the foregoing; it might be possible for government courts to get their act together and perform the way the TV dramas portray them as performing, and obey the Constitution, etc. But still, would the result - the system you'd be working to support - be truly just?

Justice is about righting wrongs, restoring damaged rights. It is not about crime and punishment! Consider: Brown purposely injures Smith, and refuses to compensate him for his injuries. Smith sues, and if he proves his case Brown will be made to pay. Then (alone) Smith will have been compensated; restitution will have been ordered. Justice will have been done. There was a victim, now the damage is repaired.

But government justice doesn't even pretend to do that, except in civil cases. Government courts allege that a "crime" has been committed, when Brown injured Smith, and inserts itself as a third party in that matter and imposes a punishment on Brown; a fine, or a prison term, which bring no benefit to Smith whatever! This is not restitution, but retribution, vengeance, an "eye for an eye" which never did anything but increase blindness.

Now, in the rare case that a serial killer or rapist is caught and found guilty, there is a good argument for restraining him so that he cannot attack other people in the future. Fair enough; that's a matter of protecting society from a credible threat. But if (as you know is normally the case) he kills once,  without any reason to expect him to kill again, what is the point of locking him up for several decades? - that brings no restitution to the victim's family, it totally devastates the killer's life, and it imposes a heavy cost on the taxpaying public! Is that real justice? - not on this Planet. Instead (since the victim cannot be restored to life) a just sentence would be an order to pay the family compensation, eg out of future earnings. In Medieval Iceland, where no government existed for over 200 years, that's exactly how it was done; if homicide happened, whether by accident or on purpose, the killer made payment to the victim's dependents, often without even waiting for a court order.

Yet the contrary is the twisted, hypocritical system you are working to support. What does it do for your self-respect? Self-esteem is a vital part of life. We all need a purpose, a raison d'Ítre, a way to feel pride in what we have been able to accomplish, a basis for ambition to achieve more in future.

Working for government undermines your basis for self-esteem. Make a clean break; offer your skills elsewhere. Get an honest job - even if at first you have to take a pay cut. You'll not regret it; at life's end you will look back in pride and pleasure, and be able to say, "I helped build that!"

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