Tuesday, February 07, 2017

THE BEST LIFE EXPERIENCE FOR OUR FEDERAL JUDGES SHOULD BE TIME SPENT HUNGRY WHILE SITTING IN JAIL

Federal judges tend to be old, male and even whiter than I am. They often come from privileged backgrounds, better schools and colleges which in practice provides limited actual insight into the lives, problems, decisions, hopes and failures of those who come before them. Culturally, politically and aesthetically they are not of us nor with us, but always apart from us. 

Sentencing a Federal Judge to Jail
Ideally we'd live in a society where our judges pride themselves on life experience that makes their ability to judge better. A good judge in my book has spent time hungry and fed the poor; lived in a jail and spent time there helping those charged with crimes. A judge would have an understanding that a full, giving, caring life is about making the world a better place. 

Yet we often expect too much from our federal judges. We expect them to be fair. We expect them to know the law. We expect them to follow the law. Occasionally I even foolishly expect them to kick the prosecutor's butt when federal trials become a mockery of justice. Our federal judges who are appointed 
for life terms by the President of the United States have little hope for parole at any age since they have nothing else in their lives comparable to the glorious authority of their cold courtrooms

So what can we do to eliminate implicit bias in our federal criminal cases, jury trials, arguments, motions and sentencing hearings? Every closing argument, motion and hearing should bend toward making our defendants more than just another case number, more than a name, but a haunting unforgiving mirror of humanity for the that particular judge. 
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