Justice: Law’s Supreme Value Essay, Research Paper
What is just and what is unjust The trials of Donald Marshall Jr. and the Guilford Four are two examples of how the system can be wrong at times. These persons were wrongly tried for crimes they didn t commit, as well as being ridiculed by the system . Donald Marshall Jr., a young kid who served time for a murder that he witnessed, but did not commit. I believe that the system that was set up to protect him destroyed this young teenager as well as The Guilford Four by, an injustice of the justice system to simply ignore what it was set-up for, what it was set-up to do, and what it stood for. Between these two trials there seems to be only one thing that mattered to the Crown: to get their man by any means necessary (which means by bribing, cheating etc). To any politically correct human being, that s not morally right or just . Though it might be just to the person or persons who were the Crown in these cases that s not good enough for society. The Crown in each of these cases made a mockery of society by using what society wanted against them (to have some one convicted, even though the person or persons convicted were innocent). Society wanted someone convicted but they want the actual criminal, not some innocent man who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. I believe there was nothing just about these cases due to the fact that the Courts believing and buying into the scheme that the Crown put forward. The scheme to simply ignore the rights and freedoms people have such as a right to a FAIR TRIAL which, none of the cases in question had. I believe that the only thing that was just about the trail of Donald Marshall Jr. was the fact that he was tried as an adult even though he was just 17 years old thus, proving that Plato has influence on modern day law. Even though Marshall was an innocent man, due to the charges laid against him, it was just to try him as an adult. That brings us to what is unjust. Between the two trails, the Crown in both cases destroyed innocent people. That was unjust. What also was unjust was the fact, that the Crown (in both cases) ignored the basic freedom s people have. The Crown lied under oath in the Marshall case, and did not give full disclosure to the Defense in the Guilford Four case. In the Marshall case, the officer (John MacIntyre) lied under oath and also bribed and pressured young witnesses to give false evidence to destroy the young Native. Also the only reason why MacIntyre singled him out so quickly as a probable suspect (Judge s inquiry). For an officer to do such a thing is a crime in itself and should have the officer tried for perjury and definitely having his badge removed due to a disgrace the uniform. Also in the case was that the information that the Attorney-General having the evidence that Marshall was not guilty but, having the deputy Attorney-General wanting the departments lawyers to argue against clearing Marshall is another conspiracy. In the Guilford Four case, the Crown kept an important document containing information that the Crown obviously knew but denied. The document was also said to have a post-it sticker on it describing the document not to be shown to the defense for an obvious reason: It would damage the Crown s case. The injustices by the justice system, however puts a dark cloud over these case s. Having the deputy Attorney General wanting the department s lawyers to argue against clearing Marshall. In the Guilford Four case, having a confession before your hands of one of their own (a British citizen), and doing nothing, not even a single charge is what damages the justice system. Formal justice requires that decisions about what people deserve be reached in a non-arbitrary and consistent manner. This means that formal justice is directly connected to doing things according to established legal rules and not according to the whims of individual officials. Having said this, the Marshall case was totally unjust. The officer s acted individually and also did not use proper procedure in conducting their investigations. Due to the requirement of formal justice implying that every person of whatever status is subject to the laws of the land, the officer s in these case s are and should be subject to gain status as law-breakers. The officer s were completely out-of-line when conducting their false investigations. Mr. MacIntyre should face charges of perjury but, due to being an officer of the law the courts decided not to pursue this action. Formal Justice should at all time protect individuals rights until proven guilty. The best part of our legal system is that one is innocent until proven guilt. Not Marshall. Marshall was guilty before going to trial, as was the Guilford Four. The officers of the law marked these men and women under racial circumstances (Marshall was a Native, the Guilford Four were Irish). Formal justice is the heart of the judicial system, if not followed individuals such as Donald Marshall and the Guilford Four suffer greatly due to officers of the law taking advantage of the system. The manner in which the courts came to these decision will be commented on for years (until another case like these comes along) but the courts inability to asses the facts that there was enough evidence to acquit Marshall in the first place is a total disgrace to the judicial system.
Substantive Justice refers to the content of the decisions of formal justice. Saying that, since Donald Marshall had been labeled by the police the courts did not assume he was innocent-just guilty. Donald Marshall was not given a fair trial by the courts hence, taking away one of the fundamental values of substantive justice: liberty. Liberty includes fundamental freedoms such as equality under the law. Substantive justice was totally biased against Donald Marshall as well as the Guilford Four. Having people spend time in jail for something they did not do is cruel and wastes too much of tax payers money. Even though the sentenced fit the crime it did not fit the people involved. Compensation should be due to those people but you can t give somebody five years of their life back. The courts must have the ability to overrule what they have done in the past, certain trials must be under constant watch i.e. having officials monitor every piece of evidence and watch both the defense and the crown at all times. Having this would eliminate on potential conspiracies such as the Guilford Four case where the crown kept valuable information from the defense.Socrates was the founder of philosophy. He developed the Socratic method, which is a question and answer format. This process is used every day in every trial. During the cross-examinations of witnesses the Socratic method is used at its best. The answers, which the Socratic method demands, are based on one s own understanding. If one cannot answer the question correctly or does not give the person who is asking the questions (usually a lawyer) the right answer the Socratic method works best. During the Donald Marshall case the crown displayed a perfect example of the Socratic method. The crown was able to get answers out of Donald Marshall to seem that he was an evil person or portrayed him as an unreliable witness. The officers in these cases however put a damper on the theory of Hobbes laws are only as good as the people who enforce them . In that case, since the officers were totally biased and racist, the law must be biased and racial as well. Laws should effect society as a whole and not just certain people. Philosophies of law are just as important as the laws themselves. Rationalism might be the most important. Rationalism works with Aristotle and his teachings. Aristotle was the founder of natural law of equality and also was recorded as saying, the true meaning of law will eventually be found . This philosophy is revealed in the process of human thinking/analysis to agree with nature. This philosophy was used against Donald Marshall in the way that since he was there and he did get cut couldn t he have done it since he did beat up people before? Legal positivism according to Bentham was to design law for everyone, which would be handed down by an authority (government). This philosophy is revealed today in our Parliamentary system, which set up the laws that effect persons needs. This philosophy also worked against Marshall in the fact that the laws were shaped to put people away for the crime he was said to commit. However working with this philosophy is to achieve pleasure to avoid pain exactly what the courts did to Donald Marshall and the Guilford Four. The courts gave them jail sentences which the courts thought were just, and gave them the sentences under the circumstances that the courts thought were just however this plan does backfire in certain cases such as the above cases.In conclusion the cases of Donald Marshall and the Guilford Four were completely biased and unjust. The courts did not review what was necessary and the officers of the law did not follow proper procedures during their respective investigations. These cases should have never ended up the way they did and the officer s should have had some disciplinary action brought up against them for their inability to follow proper governmental procedures for investigations. Also the fact that the officers were completely racist towards those accused. These cases were unjust and did not have to waste taxpayers money for something that could have been done right the first time if the right people were used to do the job.