Consumer Consumption
    by Cliff Downing

 ďAll the justice you can afford to buy!Ē

 I should begin this with an apology. Iím not racist and some of this article may turn out sounding that way. I just happen
to feel that the best way to back up a point is to use examples and thatís all Iím trying to do here. I know Iíll get a ton of
e-mail over this. Iím motivated to write this article because we are all consumers of the court system. From traffic tickets
to civil law suits to small claims all the way to when we die and our meager earnings are forced into probate court.

 As a student in school I was taught that our court system was about what was right and what was wrong. A popular
movie from a few years ago had a line in it that was between a father and son that were cops. ďAbove all else, the law!Ē
They should have said ďAbove all else, the cash!Ē

Our prison systems are locking up a larger percentage of minorities than they are whites. This might lead one to believe
that minorities commit more crime than whites. A closer look, if someone of authority had the guts to take it would reveal
a larger portion of minorities are poor and thus unable to afford justice in our courts. I should omit a really tacky remark
here but hey, this is bartcop.com so here goes ďGee, actual proof without having to spend millions on a government studyĒ.

Want more proof? Ask a certain Mr. Simpson who recently while apparently under considerable influence of alcohol
admitted his guilt. He out spent the prosecution by somewhere around 20 to 1 and won. Imagine that.

I knew of a very respectable gentleman that has since passed away. He was convicted of arson when his 70 year old plus building housing his business burned up. Being without employment he was only able to raise about $25,000.00 for his defense. The government spent an admitted 2 million on the prosecution of the case and take a wild guess at who the winner was.
Right again, the biggest spender, in this case the prosecution.

I have mentioned a couple of times that recently my wife and kids were involved in a car wreck when they swerved to miss a deer. Two weeks after the accident an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman showed up at our house and gave her a no insurance ticket. Never minding the fact that we own an insurance agency which he never bothered to call. He stated that he had searched the car about 5 days after the accident (which was about 3 days after my parents cleaned it out so the insurance company could tow it off) and couldnít find any proof of insurance. So, he filed the ticket then waited 2 days to deliver it
to us one evening. The next day we took proof of the insurance to the court house. We still had to pay almost $100.00
in court cost because we hadnít brought the proof in before he filed the ticket with the court clerk. Hell, if the jackass
had given us the ticket before he filed it like he is supposed to then we wouldnít have been out the $100.00 in court cost.
Just proof that the cops are in on the scam to make it as expensive as possible to be involved with the legal system.
Now hereís the kicker. If I had hired an attorney to dispute the actions of this fine representative of our law enforcement agencies it would have cost me over $1000.00 to retain an attorney and the return would have been a meager $100.00.
Now let me think, pay $100.00 to be innocent or pay over $1000.00 dollars for the same result.
Pretty much a no brainer donít ya think?

The fact is that for just about anything youíve got to pay an attorney a retainer and $1000.00 is cheap. Most traffic fines
are far less so your faced with a situation of prove you are innocent for $1000.00 or more or pay $100.00 or so for a fine. Even if the fine is $500.00 or maybe even $750.00 it is still cheaper to plead guilty (or no contest) then pay the fine even
though youíre innocent than it is to hire an attorney and prove your innocence. Guess what else? Youíll still get stuck with
the court cost for proving your innocence about 90% of the time. Are you pissed off yet?

Last winter my step son and his best friend were riding with me. We were making a left hand turn on a busy street in Tulsa.
The light had turned red so we stopped and waited for our turn and even had time for a short conversation about how long
the light was taking to give us a green arrow to turn left. Finally the arrow came and we went through the intersection.
I was immediately pulled over because this (*****&*) woman cop said she had almost run into me while I was making
my turn. At the time I asked this person to explain to the 2 10 year old boys with me why I was getting a ticket for
something that we all knew I hadnít done. The officer told me she didnít feel like arguing with me and the boys.

She then basically called the boys liars when they expressed their disappointment over the actions of the officer. I was not
only treated very rudely at the time of the stop (Hey, Iím a consumer of police services and deserve a little respect) but
was told that in Tulsa it would take $1500 for a retainer to hire an attorney and the fine was only about $150.00 so I
should just pay the fine and go on. In fact every attorney I talked to said just pay the fine and go on. If not for a giant
stubborn streak, a digital camera that takes 1 minute .mpgís and a laptop computer along with a whole weekend of
camping out in the Burger King parking lot next to the light at the intersection, Iíd have been stuck with a $150.00 fine
based on the word of the incompetent moron that had obviously run a red light in the process of pulling me over.
Just more proof that you canít be proven innocent unless you have a lot of money or time to waste doing so.
Once again proving ďAll the justice you can afford to buyĒ!

I could go on and on but I think the point is beyond arguing. You canít be proven innocent in a court of law unless
youíve got considerable money or time or both. A fact that most judges tend to get pissed about when you bring it up.
I havenít met a judge yet that didnít get visibly pissed when told you are innocent but canít afford an attorney.
Ask that same judge to appoint you an attorney so you can prove you are innocent and youíll be turned down flat
unless you've murdered someone. All the justice you can afford to buy. Any questions?

 Iím looking for a reference to a study that either Time magazine or Life magazine did a few years ago regarding
the mental stability of police officers with regards to allowing them to carry guns. Can anyone help?

E-mail downingc@swbell.net
 
 

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