11A007 Cornelius Dupree by Jim Davies, 1/7/2011    

He happened to be in the neighborhood in 1979, when a woman was raped and robbed; and because he resembled the perp, the victim fingered him. The Dallas prosecutor then zealously pursued a conviction, and succeeded. This innocent man has been in prison ever since; for thirty years. There is an abundance of choice, but it's hard to think of any case that more eloquently condemns the pretense that masquerades as a government "justice system", or GJS.

According to Wednesday's Dallas Morning News Prosecutor Byrne "doesn't remember details about it." Ah well, memory can play odd tricks. Cornelius Dupree no doubt remembers all kinds of details, from 30 years of anguish; that's more than half a man's adult life, stolen because Byrne administered government justice. "It's a joy to be free" he said, with an amazing lack of rancour. Indeed it is. He will get a handy sum of money in compensation, but he will not get his life back; and Byrne will not be paying him a dime of that $2 million; all of it will be taken at gunpoint from Texas taxpayers, many of whom were not even born when Byrne blundered. It is hard to imagine a system more absurd, grotesque and cruel.

The first and most obvious conclusion to draw is that its death penalty must be abolished, for the case conclusively proves that mistakes can be made and while Dupree can at least recover some of his life, once a convict is executed the error becomes irreversible. Yet in all of reporter Jennifer Emily's sizeable coverage, she fails to draw it. It is left for a reader (handle: "Reasons") to do so in a comment below her report. But that's only the start of it.

"Government justice" is not about justice, it's about enforcement and intimidation, about control and oppression; government is today's real terrorist. When it has evaporated, a true system of justice will develop in the resulting free market, whose purpose is to restore violated rights, as far as is feasible. Today the GJS doesn't even have that purpose; rather, it aims only to punish breakers of government laws. In the Dupree case a woman's privacy rights were horribly violated; a justice system would have brought her compensation, at the violator's expense, perhaps with insurance company participation. In the GJS, that would not have occurred at all even if it had tried the right man. Instead the concept of "law" and "crime" and vengeance operated, and there were no winners. Except that the prosecutor's career advanced, and jobs were created for prison guards, all at the expense of people who were in no way involved.

In the coming zero government society the incentives of market competition will allocate blame where it belongs; no longer will the guilty be promoted. Anyone suffering interference with his or her right of self-ownership will claim restoration - first from the one who interfered, and then from companies skilled in investigation, apprehension, advocacy, trial and disposition as needed. I anticipate many will choose to insure themselves so that the hassle of pursuit can be borne by someone else; the insurer will pay compensation upon evidence of loss, then pursue the wrongdoer to recover some or all of the cost. Being a market function, there can be no more efficient system and so the cost of aggression will be high - resulting in a much lower incidence and, therefore, a low insurance premium. And when mistakes are made, that market will ensure their cost falls where it belongs.

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