Many Americans continue to believe that courts are where justice is done. It’s easy to make that mistake since the courts are usually part of an organization with the word justice in its title. However, courts aren’t where justice is served, courts are where slaves go to beg their masters for leniency or to beg them to inflict harm on another. Sometimes these masters are kind to the slaves, other times they are not:
In Tarrant County, Tex., defendants are sometimes strapped with a stun belt around their legs. The devices are used to deliver a shock in the event the person gets violent or attempts to escape.
But in the case of Terry Lee Morris, the device was used as punishment for refusing to answer a judge’s questions properly during his 2014 trial on charges of soliciting sexual performance from a 15-year-old girl, according to an appeals court. In fact, the judge shocked Morris three times, sending thousands of volts coursing through his body. It scared him so much that Morris never returned for the remainder of his trial and almost all of his sentencing hearing.
The action stunned the Texas Eighth Court of Appeals in El Paso, too. It has now thrown out Morris’s conviction on the grounds that the shocks, and Morris’s subsequent removal from the courtroom, violated his constitutional rights. Since he was too scared to come back to the courtroom, the court held that the shocks effectively barred him from attending his own trial, in violation of the Constitution’s Sixth Amendment, which guarantees a defendant’s right to be present and confront witnesses during a trial.
While it’s nice that the case was thrown out, merely throwing the case out won’t solve the long term problem. The judge in question was found to have violated an individual’s constitutional rights by physically assaulting him to such a degree that the individual was afraid to return to the courtroom. Unless the judge faces consequences for his actions, there is nothing dissuading him or other judges from doing the same thing or worse in the future.
A major problem with today’s “justice” system is the professional immunity culture. So long as a government agent in the “justice” system is acting in their official capacity, they are basically immune from suffering consequences for bad actions. Officers routinely get away with perjury. Prosecutors routinely get away with withholding evidence that might help the defense. Judges routinely get away with violating the constitutional rights of individuals in their courtrooms. The lack of consequences creates an environment where others feel safe performing misdeeds themselves. There is no hope of reforming the system unless this culture of professional immunity is dealt with but it won’t be dealt with because the people charged with holding members of the “justice” system accountable are also members of the “justice” system. Not surprisingly, whenever the “justice” system investigates itself it finds that it did nothing wrong.