Webster’s dictionary defines the law as a system of rules that are created and enforced through social and governmental institutions to regulate behaviour. Through the age of time, law has been known to be the mediator between good and evil, right and wrong. In that role, law has maintained certain objectives and goals, which are to be fair and just. Lady Justice is seen holding a scale, which represents the weighing of evidence to make a fair trial, as well as punishment.
Lady Justice is represented as blind, and her blindness is seen as the symbolization of impartiality and objectivity, not being biased, meaning that factors such as race and gender should not be accounted for in a ruling. For the law to be able to provide justice, the law must be fair. When the law is said to be fair, it is to say that it takes the evidence, the facts, and the situation into consideration.
The law should be enforced to seek justice regardless of money, social stature, or power.
In today’s modern society, the law has changed increasingly as opposed to the law practiced in the medieval times. In medieval times, the law was enforced through fear, which meant that every crime held a very serious punishment. Trials by ordeal were a famous way of proving innocence back in the past. From then compared to now is a very big step, a very big change. The law today uses legal precedent and compelling evidence, which would not be something commonly found in law during the medieval ages.
However, today’s law is shown to be what Lady Justice stands against; law today seems to be more dependent on factors such as money, social stature, and power. Not only those compelling factors, the law is very much changed based on the power of argument and suggestion. Lawyers in the courtroom have every opportunity to persuade the judge, or jury, to benefit their case.
Through all of this, the judge has the ultimate decision, which is to either make a verdict, or to set the sentence. Setting a sentence is a form of bias, where the judge or the jury have the power to exploit, by either giving the accused a minimum sentence for a serious crime, such as murder, or a maximum sentence for a lesser crime. This research essay pertains to the conflict between the law and morality, and their struggle in the controversial topics; Bias, Fairness, Corruption, and the case that ties it all together; The case of Cyntoia Brown. Biases in morality can be difficult to pick out because it can vary from person to person, and between events .. Biases can be found in every human, whether they are conscious or unconscious depends on the person. Bias is an inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group
( In other words, unconscious bias is unaware feeling we have towards other people unconscious feelings that play a strong part in influencing our judgment of certain people and groups, away from being balanced or even-handed, in many different areas of life. For example, Black men are nearly three times as likely to be killed by legal intervention than white men, according to the study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health ( American Indians or Alaska Natives also are nearly three times as likely and Hispanic men are nearly twice as likely, the study suggests. “It affirms that this disparity exists,” said Dr James Buehler, clinical professor of health management and policy at Drexel University in Philadelphia, who authored the study.”My study is a reminder that there are, indeed, substantial disparities in the rates of legal intervention deaths, and that ongoing attention to the underlying reasons for this disparity is warranted,” he said.
We know that police take an oath to be fair and unbiased, but obviously, something pulls them to the thoughts of people of colour being more harmful than those that are white. Whether they acknowledge it or not, they are all bias, conscious or unconscious. Figuring out biases in Morality is like poking needles in the sea to find fish, because although it may be morally wrong for a person of one race but may be morally correct for another. . Even as normal human beings without having people’s lives based in our hands, we are unconsciously biased, that’s why one can see that the judges in both cases that both judges were unconsciously biased In both statements through the trial, the judge’s seemed to have different attitudes towards Brock and Cyntoia. Brock was labeled as an “athlete” while raping an unconscious women and Cyntoia was named a ” Murderer” while killing her rapist. Looking at the statements underlined clearly shows the difference between how both Brock’s father and the victim, were talking.
How the victim was portrayed more as the culprit and how Brock’s father sounded more like his son a victim, looking for remorse and pity, where the victim’s statement was bold and detailed. Money equals freedom. And justice for none. There were statements read out from both sides of the case in Brock’s trail. The following quotes show how white privileged athletes are being vies as upstanding citizens and are getting away with life changing events such as rape! Here is a statement from Dan Turner, Brock’s father “As it stands now, Brocks life has been deeply altered forever by the events of Jan 17th and 18th. He will never be his happy go lucky self with that easy going personality and welcoming smile. His every waking minute is consumed with worry, anxiety, fear, and depression. You can see this in his face, the way he walks, his weakened voice, his lack of appetite. Brock always enjoyed certain types of food and is a very good cook himself.
I was always excited to buy him a big ribeye steak to grill or to get his favorite snack for him. I had to make sure to hide some of my favorite pretzels or chips because I knew they wouldnt be around long after Brock walked in from a long swim practice. Now he barely consumes any food and eats only to exist. These verdicts have broken and shattered him and our family in so many ways. His life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life. The fact that he now has to register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life forever alters where he can live, visit, work, and how he will be able to interact with people and organizations. What I know as his father is that incarceration is not the appropriate punishment for Brock. He has no prior criminal history and has never been violent to anyone including his actions on the night of Jan 17th 2015.
Brock can do so many positive things as a contributor to society and is totally committed to educating other college age students about the dangers of alcohol consumption and sexual promiscuity. By having people like Brock educate others on college campuses is how society can begin to break the cycle of binge drinking and its unfortunate results. Probation is the best answer for Brock in this situation and allows him to give back to society in a net positive way.”. Now a statement from the victim “How old are you? How much do you weigh? What did you eat that day? Well, what did you have for dinner? Who made dinner? Did you drink with dinner? No, not even water? When did you drink? How much did you drink? What container did you drank from? Who gave you the drink? How much do you usually drink? Who dropped you off at this party? At what time? But where exactly? What were you wearing? Why were you going to this party? Whatd you do when you got there? Are you sure you did that? But what time did you do that? What does this text mean? Who were you texting? When did you urinate? Where did you urinate? With whom did you urinate outside?
Was your phone on silent when your sister called? Do you remember silencing it? Really because on page 53 Id like to point out that you said it was set to ring. Did you drink in college? You said you were a party animal? How many times did you black out? Did you party at frats? Are you serious with your boyfriend? Are you sexually active with him? When did you start dating? Would you ever cheat? Do you have a history of cheating? What do you mean when you said you wanted to reward him? Do you remember what time you woke up? Were you wearing your cardigan? What color was your cardigan? Do you remember any more from that night? No? Okay, well let Brock fill it in. I was pummeled with narrowed, pointed questions that dissected my personal life, love life, past life, family life, inane questions, accumulating trivial details to try and find an excuse for this guy who didnt even take the time to ask me for my name, who had me naked a handful of minutes after seeing me.
After a physical assault, I was assaulted with questions designed to attack me, to say see, her facts dont line up, shes out of her mind, shes practically an alcoholic, she probably wanted to hook up, hes like an athlete right, they were both drunk, whatever, the hospital stuff she remembers is after the fact, why take it into account, Brock has a lot at stake so hes having a really hard time right now. “. As you can clearly differentiate, the judges in Brock’s case appear more bias because he was a male, and athlete, and an exceptional student at Stanford. While the judges in Cyntoia’s case were more bias because she was a child prostitute, homeless, and colored. Both of these assumptions can be made that even without knowing the full case anyone would say that Brock is not at fault, because he is fully educated, while looking at Cyntoia’s situation, people can say that she may not know what she was doing, or may be unaware of the events that have occured, but looking at the hardships in both lives, you can see that Brock was bought up with a silver spoon in his mouth while Cyntoia struggled on a minute to minute basis, to figure out how to live and survive.
A loophole in the Webster’s dictionary is defined as “an ambiguity or unintended omission in a law, rule, regulation, or contract which allows a party to circumvent the intent of the text and avoid its obligations under certain circumstances. – used usually in a negative sense; – distinguished from escape clause in that the latter usually is included to deliberately allow evasion of obligation under certain specified and foreseen circumstances.. These loopholes cause for biases in the law. Although technically speaking the law cannot be bias in any shape or form but there is no way that a human cannot be bias, regardless of what position he or she may be at. Bias appears in the law in many different ways. Actual Bias – Genuine prejudice that a judge, juror, witness, or other person has against some person or relevant subject. Advocate’s Bias – The bias that attorneys often develop in favor of a client involved in a dispute and that may potentially cause such missteps as overlooking certain arguments or misjudging the way facts or legal precedents may appear to a dispassionate observer.
Implied Bias (or Presumed Bias) – bias, as of a juror, that the law conclusively presumed because of kinship or some other incurably close relationship; prejudice that is inferred from the experiences or relationships of a judge, juror, witness, or other person. Corruption is the abuse of power by influential people. Crime is something that can never be eliminated in society. “If something can corrupt you, you’re already corrupted” said by Bob Marley. What he meant was that the power of corruption is like an airborne disease, one that can catch on to anyone. Sadly corruption contributes to the law as well, where bribery is present and recurring. In India, there was a crisis over the corruption of a retired judge bribing his peers and colleagues into influenced decisions over cash. While that is only one example, it does not discredit the fact that corruption does exist. Looking at the Cyntoia Brown trial, she is one of the many victims of systematic corruption.
Cyntoia Brown is a girl who spent years of her life in the sex trafficking industry. Her sense of safety was a pimp by the name “Cut-Throat”, a man who heavily abused her and threatened her night and day. The law failed Cyntoia Brown, and so had the morality of the people judging her. The limits to judgement do extend to gender and race, and that the black community has been subject to harsher punishments for law-breaking, intentional or not. Marissa Alexander is a viable example, a woman who fired a warning shot at her abuser receives a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault. 19-year old Ramad Chatman was found not guilty by his peers in the jury, but the judge thought five years of probation was still necessary. After that, in another similar situation, Chatman had been sentenced to prison once again, under the same circumstances, and will not be released until 2022.
The common denominator is that this man and women have been sentenced due to the colour of their skin, and the gender of their bodies. The morals of the people around her were taken into account as she sat in the trial. The impartial men and women who lay as her peers silently judged her actions and failed to be unbiased in the trial. The knowledge of Cyntoia’s origin and life story were known to the jurors, and yet, despite her rough childhood, she was sentenced to a life sentence instead of getting help. Fairness is a term that is used to describe impartiality and just treatment. The very word “Fairness” represents both: Law, and Morality. In the law, fairness is said to weigh everything; such as evidence, arguments, and the situation into consideration.
Lady Justice is blind which represents her impartiality and objectivity. She represented by holding a scale which symbolises the weighing of evidence to make a fair judgement. Meanwhile, the law is seen to be fair based on the layers of amendments and legislation made throughout the years, compiling into one piece that does its best to make the law a fair and just writ. The Magna Carta refers to a constitutional blueprint, laying out how the society should govern; the responsibilities of the government and the people lay in that document. The Magna Carta was made in 1215, so that King John had to follow the law, for his subjects and allies to follow him once again. Today, in the 21st Century we are spectators to an unfair legal system. Cyntoia Brown was 16 when she first murdered, receiving a life sentence. Cyntoia Brown murdered a 43-year-old Nashville man when she purchased for sex. Despite being 16, Cyntoia punished to an adult life sentence of life