The U.S. Judicial System: Biases, Blindspots, and Blunders In Need of Repair
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius
“Nearly 80% of all convicted criminals find themselves arrested or convicted and sentenced for a crime within 5 years of release from prison. It’s estimated that 50% of all convicted felons are incarcerated because of addition, economic desperation, or mental health issues
If an inmate can not afford bail, they must undergo their trial wearing a state issued prison uniform. Studies have demonstrated that a person is 3x more likely to be convicted of a crime if they are wearing prison attire. The prison industry collectively generates $1,300,000,000 ($1.3 billion) per year by charging inmates for various things, including phone calls to attorneys, family, and friends, all which can be billed up to $1.00 per minute.
The right to a trial and the right to be deemed innocent until proven guilty was designed as a protective and preventative measure against confessions obtained under duress or torture as well as mob mentality witch hunts.
The U.S. Constitutions 8th Amendment guarantees the right to be free from excessive bail, with bail being a temporary loan provided to the court as collateral and incentive to show up for one’s trial, so that the bail paid can be returned. The bail bond industry as a whole generates $2,000,000,000 ($2 billion) annually.
Solitary confinement is considered torture by the United Nations and Amnesty International, with countries like Iran having larger and more well equipped confinement cells than the U.S. An inmate can be placed in solitary confinement for any reason without the need for law enforcement to justify its decision. 95% of inmates who spend time in solitary confinement report experiencing a mental illness afterwards. Those who experience solitary confinement are 5x more likely to commit suicide. Over 81,000 US inmates are currently experiencing solitary confinement with the average stay being 7.5 years, an incredibly long period, especially given the fact that rigid, austere countries like Iran do not subject prisoners to solitary confinement for more than 2 years.”