Friday, August 24, 2007

The Failures Of Our System

Prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges, and those involved in the criminal justice system, all have different thoughts on what I refer to as "the failures of our system." But more and more I find agreement.

I believe the failures are:

1. That we are a victim of the notion that we are all unsafe (This isn't my quote, I heard it from a doctor sitting on a panel discussing the state of our system. It is truth at its finest), causing;

2. Our system to be based on a media driven perception of "what the public wants" by congress and legislatures, many of whose members have never set foot in a criminal courtroom, causing;

3. Lawmakers inability to separate those who should not be labeled, and creating;

4. A lack of discretion previously held by judges and prosecutors, causing;

5. A lack of desire to exercise what little discretion is left due to the fear of the media, bloggers, and the general public, causing;

6. A lack of desire to resolve disputes and cases outside the criminal justice system, resulting in more people incarcerated, which creates;

7. A complete lack of concern or attention regarding jail and prison conditions, and too much concern and attention to the perception that;

8. Our system is or should be just like the show "Law & Order," which helps add to;

9. A continued narrowing of the presumption of innocence, to the point where it only applies to the actual jurors sitting on a case, and that;

10. Criminal Defense Lawyers are the root of the problem.

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense attorney in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court. To learn more about Brian and his firm, Tannebaum Weiss, please visit