Posted BY: John Green
The Constitution is our pact of civilized behavior. From it we’ve derived a system of institutionalized justice, which we call our criminal justice system. It’s intended to include checks and balances to protect defendants from biases and ensure fair adjudication of their charges. Those safeguards include the following:
- a presumption of innocence
- a right to due process
- a right to legal defense
- a right to a trial by one’s peers
- a right to a trial before an impartial judge
Given our presumption of innocence, absolute justice can’t be guaranteed because conviction depends on the presence of evidence. Instead, we have agreed to accept equal treatment under the law. We agree to abide by the law in exchange for a system that treats us equally and is administered by officials who swear an oath to defend our constitutional protections.
Is vigilante justice what it will take to restore law and order in this country?