Skip to main content

Bugs in the American Legal System

As an immigrant from India, I have always been very impressed with the American legal system. In over 17 years, I have not encountered grassroots corruption, have been treated courteously by those in power, and have seen the system work overall in favor of the individual. In particular, I've always seen the punitive damages system as a counter-balancing force that puts the "fear of God" in the minds of the rich & powerful corporations that would otherwise tend to trample the average citizen.

I'm not so sure any more after I heard this program on NPR's Fresh Air today: Reporter Explores America's Unique Take on Justice

It discusses the news series in New York Times, by Adam Liptak, called American Exceptions.

The highlights of the series so far are:

Inmate Count in U.S. Dwarfs Other Nations’
The U.S. has less than 5 percent of the world’s population but almost a quarter of its prisoners.

Foreign Courts Wary of U.S. Punitive Damages
For most of the rest of the world, allowing separate awards meant to punish the defendant is a terrible idea.

Illegal Globally, Bail for Profit Remains in U.S.
Bail bondsmen, who post bail for people accused of crimes in exchange for a fee, are all but unknown outside the U.S.

Serving Life for Providing Car to Killers
An American legal doctrine makes accomplices as liable as the killer for murders committed during felonies.

Lifers as Teenagers, Now Seeking Second Chance
The U.S. stands alone in the world in convicting adolescents as adults and sentencing them to life.
[Originally posted on my personal blog at muralikd.blogspot.com, May 08, 2008]
 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's a slow economy- Let's talk about handshakes & picking up chicks

You know it's a rough economy when Guy Kawasaki is tweeting about picking up chicks and TechCrunch is blogging about handshakes & social etiquette and beating up dead horses.

But shouldn't these guys be talking about my friend's company that just got funded to do DNA computation in the cloud - or something like that?

[Originally posted on my personal blog at muralikd.blogspot.com, May 09, 2009]

Your Conscience is Your Compiler!

Your Conscience is Your Compiler! The following is the exact transcript of an IM chat about "Conscience" I had with a friend:

Friend: I follow my instincts.

Me: Animals follow instincts - humans follow their conscience. It's the only God I know. Your conscience always tells you what's right or wrong.

Friend: No murali, I disagree. How do you define what's right?

Me: Your conscience tells you- always. If you do something you believe is wrong, you'll feel guilty. If you don't believe it's wrong, you won't feel guilty

Friend: Yeah, but why do you do things?

Me: Because we are human.

Friend: No, it's because we want to survive.

Me: It takes a lot of character to always obey your conscience, a lot of strength.We survive either way. But if you and your conscience are on good terms, you have unshakeable self-belief.

Friend: Yeah

Me: And you'll care about little things like pride, self-respect, principles, character, reputation...because they are…

My Experience (a kid's poem)

Here's a poem I wrote when I was in 8th grade in school

My Experience

Once upon a time, I had a little donkey
Whom I very lovingly, used to call Pinky
But in fact, he was very brown
And making a fine pair, I looked like a clown

Whatever we looked like, that does not matter
My story begins, as I grew fatter
Allow me to tell you, for your information
At that time, was I, a very poor washerman

One day, on Pinky, I loaded a huge clothes bunch
And on the top I settled, with my heavy paunch
Due to the mighty weight, his bones crunched
And the next minute, into the air I was launched

As I fell on earth, I started groans and moans
Nevertheless, the next thing I did was to check my bones
My limbs ached, and I felt very sick
Later on, I learned that the cause was Pinky's kick

After that experience so dim
I decided to become slim
And hence I advise you, never to become plump
For you too, as me, may receive many a bump!

[Originally posted on my personal blog at muralikd.blogspot.com, August…