United States Punishment and Crime
The United States is home to justice. However, is it done correctly every time? There are many cases that fall through because of the sheer volume. Statistically, it is impossible to bring every criminal case to justice in America. It would also make it difficult to save innocent people from being sent to prison. While it is possible to examine specific cases and draw conclusions, looking at the whole picture may help you make general observations. Americans are notorious for not following through on justice and causing people to lose their lives. Sometimes justice forces an answer and no one is going to prison, which can lead to mass subterfugee. It is possible to study documentaries to get a fair idea of how justice in America is done and how it affects individual cases.
Many have made mistakes in American history due to the sheer number of cases. Some tried to avoid certain facts or convict the wrong person. The Farm: Angola USA and The Thin Blue Line are three examples of this. Capturing the Friedmans is another example. In all three films, there is evidence of injustice in justice. Jonathan Stack’s film The Farm: Angola USA introduces us to six men currently in prison. Each of these men have their own stories. But one stands out. Vincent Simmons, a man who was convicted of rape and is currently in jail, claimed that he was innocent. (Stack: 23). His argument is unique because the evidence simply doesn’t add up. The film clearly shows that Simmons, and probably others, are convicted solely because they are black. Simmons was even accused by a woman who said that all black men are the same (Stacks 00.30). That raises a question. How did she come to know that Vincent Simmons was the one? It is obvious that she didn’t. The justice system makes a mistake when a man is found guilty just because he has the skin color. He can then be sentenced for the rest his life. The Thin Blue Line, directed Errol Morse, is another example. When it was released, this entire documentary had one goal. It accomplished it. The film was made to prove Randal Adams’ innocence. Dramatic reenactments are used to tell the story Randal Adams’s murder trial. The film was a sham. But the moment when the truth was revealed is the most surreal. Morris waits to show the last clip of David Harris’ voice recording, where he basically admits to the crime (1:35). Adams died from the terrible law error. He spent twelve years in prison before being released. This case of an innocent man being wrongfully convicted again proves the flaws in America’s judicial system. Andrew Jarecki has directed Capturing the Friedmans which shows another example how law is being mistreated. The cameras follow the Friedmans as they confront them with accusations of child pornography. The interviews with police officers, investigators and other witnesses reveal some inconsistencies. One scene shows a female investigator explaining that the case is flawed and that it cannot be reported as such (Jarecki, 00:31). Jarecki snaps Francis Galasso in the scene and explains to him that the multiple descriptions for the house don’t coincide. Jarecki also has photographic evidence (00.32). This case is not the only one that has its truth. There have been many allegations and details throughout. All things considered, Arnold and Jesse Friedman were convicted. However, it could also be right. It doesn’t matter if the allegations seem consistent. The capture of Friedmans is a sign of America’s growing carceral status. The need to keep other people in prison is the carceral status of America. People feel more comfortable knowing that someone is being held accountable, even if it is not the right person. It is possible that the victim of the detention will be satisfied if the right person is found. Michael Meranze’s article “Pathology of the Carceral State” discusses this. Meranze writes about America’s prisoner-obsessed perspective in his article “Pathology of the Carceral State”.
In the 1980s, the prison construction was more expensive than ever. Meranze states that America’s justice simply means punishing the chosen one and doing it without mercy. Inhumane and cruel practices such as limiting the rights of prisoners to access courts or increasing the death penalty can be found in Meranze’s article. You can easily identify problems in American judicial systems by simply watching some films and reading articles. It is a concept that anyone accountable can disagree with. Subterfugee is the best solution when someone is being held accountable for misconduct or crimes. The consequences can be fatal or even catastrophic, regardless of whether the sacrifice is voluntary or involuntary. One can see that accountability is important, no matter what situation. Charles Ferguson’s Inside Job shows that accountability does not just apply to numbers. 2008’s financial meltdown caused a great deal of damage to the global economy and many people were affected. It was not easy to hold people accountable in this situation. However, everyone pointed fingers at each other. Chapter 4, titled “Accountability”, is a tasteful section that blames big firms and corporations. However, the real culprit was the Lehman Brothers Firm (Furgeson 1:22). Many blamed firms, especially the Lehman Brothers. The Lehman Brothers failed to get bailout money and were forced to close down their business (1:30). Now, let’s move down to the smaller scale. Bowling for Columbine is a fast-moving story by Michael Moore. The Columbine Massacre left many people wondering who to blame. While there were many options, it was not clear that everyone agreed on who to blame. One scene from the film shows parents blaming Marilyn Manson (00:45), for her dark lyrics. As his new bad reputation grew, people began to attribute their problems to Manson. It was difficult to find someone who could blame teenagers or children for their actions. After all, their minds aren’t fully developed. Joshua Rofe’s film Lost for Life demonstrates this dilemma. Rofe explores the lives and circumstances of teenage prisoners who are legally unable to be released. The devastation that young adults experience in prison is evident by the horrific stories. Numerous teens younger than 17 years old are currently locked up without parole. It is clear that these teenagers are not responsible for their crimes, and no one can hold them accountable. In an initial scene, friends reveal that many of those teens who appear in the film were convicted under certain circumstances. This makes it almost plausible (Rofe:00:15). It is easy to judge the subject matter of the film from a distance, but it becomes difficult to see the whole picture. While some would prefer to blame the teens and see them serve their sentence, others might blame their parents or their upbringing. Accountability is vital, and it is natural for humans to take responsibility. Although it may seem easy to choose a blame person, many cases will require more. In some cases, it is difficult to find one person to blame or one scapegoat.
In conclusion, America today has serious flaws with its judicial system. It also needs to improve its social law area. Although Americans are often portrayed as being the safest and most legal place to go to trial, it is a fact that people make mistakes and pay the consequences. The United States judiciary system must do more than just appoint people to prison for crimes they did not commit. Although crime and punishment in the United States are essential, they also give people a reason for staying legal. But sometimes, too many people find themselves in an inhumane system that is not right for them.
All things considered, the documentaries seen taught many lessons. It is impossible to just absorb information and not think about it. It is important to understand the message and make your own opinion.