Conrad Black (2014.12.13)

America’s correctional system is utterly disgraceful. And ours seems to be heading in that direction

The United States has 5% of the world’s people, 25% of its incarcerated people, and 50% of its lawyers [….]

American prosecutors win 99.5% of their cases, 97% without trials, numbers rivalled, if at all, only by North Korea.

[T]here is already evidence to hand that our correctional service apparatus and the prosecution service that feeds it have in some distressing respects taken the American correctional ethos on board.

[Robert Lutczyk] has been denied bail three times, denied legal aid though he does not have the means to conduct a defence, allegedly denied access to a computer to learn the crown’s digital disclosure on the case, and denied pencil and paper to prepare anything, and such notes as he was able to make with borrowed materials have been confiscated.

This is behaviour that is absolutely typical of the operation of the American system. It is a determined effort to grind the detained (in this case untried and presumed innocent) person’s face in his own impotence. It also drives home the lack of any justified expectation of being treated like a human being with a genuine ability to make something of his presumption of innocence and of his day in court [….]

—Conrad Black, National Post (2014.12.13)