Adversarial Justice: America's Court System on Trial

Adversarial Justice: America's Court System on Trial

Adversarial Justice: America's Court System on Trial

Adversarial Justice: America's Court System on Trial

Synopsis

Our adversarial legal system is used to evade the truth and makes winning the paramount goal. Here, a law veteran proposes we shift to an inquisitorial system seeking the truth, and recommends changes to evidentiary rules that confuse law enforcement and juries alike.

Excerpt

It was 1983 at the midyear meeting of the American Bar Association. the topic was whether the association should hire a public relations firm to help improve the image of lawyers. Chief Justice Warren Burger had heard enough. Rising to his feet, “he politely questioned the entire exercise, asking whether instead of offering cosmetic solutions to a professional crisis, it might be better to talk about what the lawyers—not the spinmeisters—might do to help improve the situation.…[He then] pointed out that the original role of lawyers was healing social conflict, and that we really needed to embrace that role once again.” His words, like those of Harvard Law Dean Roscoe Pound back in 1906, were largely ignored.

In order to comprehend this book, you must understand America’s adversarial trial system. Consider this explanation: Two lawyers, one the prosecutor or plaintiff’s attorney and the other the defense or defendant’s attorney, are sitting at their respective places in the courtroom during a trial. Above them hangs a balloon filled with truth. From the balloon hang two strings, one going to each of the attorneys. It is their joint job, presumably, to pull that balloon

1. Preface Journal, May 2004, p. 74

2. See Chapter 1.

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