I am a New York State paralegal who has often run into law's that I simply do not agree 100% with. I have struggled a great deal with some laws, below is a sample, based on my personal opinions and ethics.
My struggle with the law
By Lisa Cliffe
Originaly posted on
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I am a New York State paralegal who has often run into laws that I simply do not agree 100% with. I have struggled a great deal with some laws, below is a sample, based on my personal opinions and ethics.
The pro's and Con's of my passion for law.
I went to school to become a paralegal, my reason was because I had been working in that capacity for a few years and was not being paid what a "paralegal" was paid because I lacked the certification. I loved law and all of it's complexities and the analytical nature of it. I really liked family law and civil litigation. I was not exposed much to criminal law nor immigration law; both of which I became fascinated with in school.
The pro's are the obvious; help the innocent be free of charges, harassment and stress; or to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant is guilty and know that he or she will be punished. The con in my opinion is the punishment very seldom seems to fit the crime.
Lets take some cases that we see in the news. All sentencing mentioned is a mere guideline and is up the Judge and jury. Also, a cocaine dealer who deals in fire arms and robberies, rape, etc, obviosly gets serious time..so the use of 10 years and 20 years, is being used as examples only.
A typical big time cocaine dealer could get 20 years to life. A child molester could get 10 years, and be out in 7 years. The dealer will possibly be released in 11.
The rapist could get 20 years and the fatal DWI offender could get 20 also.
In my humble opinion, this is just too f***ed-up for me.
The small time cocaine dealer should get no more than 5 years in State prison with counseling.
The Child molester should get LIFE without the possibility of parole, it has been proven over and over again these pedophiles can't be rehabilitated, they seem to learn one lesson from prison time and one only; "Next time I won't leave the victim alive to identify me", that is when we read about little innocent children like Jessica Lunsford who was buried alive, and another child who was drowned, and others who were stabbed to death, etc. Their molesters had all been in jail and or prison for it before; they just learned to not leave their tiny victim alive to point them out to the police.
The rapist should also get life and the repeat DWI offender 2 years in State Prison without the possibility of regaining a driver's license for 10 years, with parole for 5 years. It is cheaper for the state, which is the tax payer's expense. However!! A person who is a repeat offender of DWI, such as is released and gets a DWI while on parole, obviously has a drinking problem and no respect for the law or the lives of others; I would agree then that this individual is a danger to himself and to society and should be locked up for longer and serious rehabilitation efforts made. If after being sober for the 2 years in State prison, they can come out and drink and drive again? They have an addiction and possibly other issues.
But, let's look at the news. Let's look at:
Naomi Campbell...Now just who does she think she is? What is up with her cracking the skull of a maid and getting "community service"? What about when she flipped out on someone's yacht and destroyed it? Or when she assaulted a pilot and the police?
Does anyone else believe that this has nothing to do with anger management, but likely the case of a swollen head? A "super model" who thinks she is above everyone else, including the law? I say jail this lunitic for a couple years and deport her sorry ass! She's about as talented as a band of ants marching in a pile of s**t. She contributes little to society, as a whole, But... she is rich and famous so this is her punishment? She shouldn't be permitted into the United States of America or any other civilized Country. She behaves like an uncivilized snot, who is proven herself to be abusive, both physically and verbally to everyone she deals with. Is she not punished because she is "black"? Are we now afraid to punish a black woman? I call that racism. (Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan were both locked up, even though briefly, they were sent to jail). So, I say lock the destructive, abusive woman up and deport her.
Here is a definition; Cruelty; is defined as - The intentional and malicious infliction of mental or physical suffering on a living creature; esp. a human; abusive treatment; outrage. Well, that exact description was reported in the news, and was also heard in Manhattans' Court. Her punishment was a few hours of community service? Come on! Her Victim surly deserved for her pain and suffering, not to mention, humiliation, to be worth more than that and I'm not talking dollars.
My other issue is "double jeopardy", now, I fully understand the reasons for such a law, however it needs some amending. When a murderer is found "not guilty" by his or hers peers, he/she can NOT be retried for murder in that case, that is where double jeopardy comes into play; there have been instances, many times, where this defendant is later to have been proven he committed the crime, via photographs, videotapes and tape recordings that were not available before or during their trial, there have also been instances of a defendant, having already been found "not guilty" coming right into court later on and admitting they did it; they admit it just to torture the victims family, whom they have grown to hate for their participation in the months or years of investigation and perhaps for openly calling him or her guilty. What can the court do now? Charge him with perjury but ONLY if he or she took the stand during trial and when asked "did you murder___" and they said NO. But if they never took the stand, which in most cases the defendant doesn't, there are no perjury charges. Double Jeopardy, as it stands today, will not permit him to be retried, so this murderer is a free man.
If the Double Jeopardy law was amended to provide a new murder trial for defendants that admitted guilt after trial, or new evidence came about; proving he committed the crime, and it established it without a doubt, this murderer should face trial again.
Immigration law; Probably not going to write what you may think..
I would love to see immigration laws get as tough as tax evasion. Now, I may pity some stories people have for illegally entering a county, but I oppose any illegal person from entering any country and staying there illegally. When illegal immigrants get away with actually picketing for rights, our Country becomes cowardly. A legal immigrant goes through rigorous health exams, (no aids, no T.B. or other diseases that can be spread amongst the community), they are given extensive personal background checks and criminal background checks, when they are granted permission to enter into the chosen country, that country knows they are disease free, are not a danger to their society and know of every member of the family and every address they ever lived at and any other country they ever traveled to; easy to track them if they need to. When a person or persons enters illegally, they could be a rapist, arsonist, murderer, pedophile, or any other type of criminal fleeing their country, they could have many diseases or they could be a really decent person who did an illegal thing; it makes no difference. Law isn't about "emotion" and you do not place emotion into right or wrong with law. I say when they have the audacity to picket, have the Marshall's round them up and deport them, immediately. If they have children that were born in the United States, that makes the child a citizen giving them the legal right to stay, then leave it to the parents, deport them with you or put them up for adoption?
I also believe that law should change; Children being born in the USA, unless both parents are legal American citizens, should not be granted immediate citizenship, which would lie to rest "emotional" issues that arise from those types of situations.
The pro's with law though are many;
Relieving a couple from marriage that one or neither wants to be in anymore;
Drafting a living will, Heath Care proxies and last will and testament to ensure that an individuals wishes are carried out during sickness and death;
Placing injunctions on those that wrongfully possess another's chattel;
Placing a "freeze" on the financial accounts of those who are in indebted to another;
Protecting a mother and her child(ren) from abuse, such as a Court Order of Protection, Shelters; Divorce, and fighting for a conviction to ensure a jail term for the offender.
Strict Liability; Ensuring a financial settlement for those who have been wrongly injured due to the breach of an absolute duty to make something safe;
Personal liability; Liability for which one is personally accountable and for which a wronged party can seek satisfaction out of the wrong-doer's personal assets;
Liability; The quality or state of being legally obligated or accountable; legal responsibility to another or the society; enforceable by civil remedy or criminal punishment.
And the reward of knowing, as a team, you have helped someone who may have otherwise suffered in silence, or worse, suffered until their dying day (as in severe domestic violence cases).
The Rule of RIGHT, not might.