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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Privatization of Justice

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice...and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (US Constitution)


This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice...' (Zechariah 7:9)


In many instances, America's civil and criminal laws strongly favor rich and prominent people. We have more people in prison than any other nation on earth, and most of them are poor, members of minorities, or emotionally ill..... It's hard to imagine a wealthy white man being executed. (Through the Year with Jimmy Carter, page 217).


The prison privatization boom began in the 1980s, under the governments of Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., but reached its height in 1990 under William Clinton, when Wall Street stocks were selling like hotcakes. (

It goes without saying that the government cannot do everything. Its primary function is regulation, security, fostering health and creativity, and the establishment of justice.  We have largely privatized justice in America. Just yesterday I explored the possibility of an retrial for a son of mine. The lawyer said that preliminary legal work would cost approximately $7500 and the trial itself $100,000.  To the extent that justice can hinge on retrials, it is patently clear that justice is far from established in the United States except for the powerful and wealthy. It is widely thought that public defenders for the indigent primarily exist for the convenience of the court and not for the true realization of justice.

Justice ultimately depends upon the quest for it in a myriad of private transactions – that is, a spirit of justice must pervade the hearts and minds of the citizenry.  Yet despite this – even because of this – a keen interest in civil and social justice must equip the state for the genuine establishment of it. Establishment of justice is a clear responsibility of the state and cannot be abdicated with abandon for Siren songs promising a complete and facile march to the privatization of justice.

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