Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Legal System Run Amok

The Violence Against Women Act includes a definition of domestic violence that is so wide you could drive a Mack truck through it.
Carey Roberts tells the story (via Instapundit) about
a criminal justice system that has all but abandoned due process in a frenzied attempt to curb domestic violence. … Favored with $1 billion in federal largess each year, our nation’s domestic violence industry has created an alternate-reality legal system that would confound even the likes of Alice [in Wonderland].

Our Looking Glass criminal justice system features judges who have been educated to always “err on the side of caution”; victim advocates who coach putative victims how to embellish their claims; and free legal help to accusers (but not defendants).

…Earlier this year, Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, a Washington, D.C.-based victim advocacy organization, released a report titled “How Domestic Violence Laws Curtail our Fundamental Freedoms.” The report concludes that each year, over two million Americans have their fundamental civil liberties overruled by the Violence Against Women Act.

Consider the constitutional guarantees of due process, probable cause for arrest, right to a fair trial, and equal treatment under the law — all are cast aside by get-tough-on-crime domestic violence laws.

It seems like it's never too late to remind people of the name (and of the book) of Stephen Baskerville