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The Mirage of Justice     :  Information Clearing House - ICH

The Mirage of Justice     :  Information Clearing House - ICH

By Chris Hedges

January 18, 2016 "
Clearing House

" -

  If you
are poor, you will almost never go to trial—instead
you will be forced to accept a plea deal offered by
government prosecutors. If you are poor, the word of
the police, who are not averse to fabricating or
tampering with evidence, manipulating witnesses and
planting guns or drugs, will be accepted in a
courtroom as if it was the word of God. If you are
poor, and especially if you are of color, almost
anyone who can verify your innocence will have a
police record of some kind and thereby will be
invalidated as a witness. If you are poor, you will
be railroaded in assembly-line production from a
town or city where there are no jobs through the
police stations, county jails and courts directly
into prison. And if you are poor, because you don’t
have money for adequate legal defense, you will
serve sentences that are decades longer than those
for equivalent crimes anywhere else in the
industrialized world.

If you are
a poor person of color in America you understand
this with a visceral fear. You have no chance. Being
poor has become a crime. And this makes mass
incarceration the most pressing civil rights issue
of our era.


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