I have been considering starting this blog for a few weeks, as I have watched the news coverage of the sexual assault allegations leveled against Bill Cosby. But watching St. Louis, which I still consider my home, being torn to pieces by the circumstances surrounding the killing of Michael Brown finally pushed me over the edge.
How I Came to this Blog
Before this year, I was a practicing criminal attorney. I believed that the most effective way to improve the serious flaws I saw in our justice system was by working within that system to fight the machine. Now I understand that it is going to take much more than that--that the general public needs to be involved and needs to understand what really happens in our courts. Even the most engaged politically active people in our society usually know very little about how our legal system really works.
Where People Get Their Ideas About the Justice System
Regular people make assumptions about how our justice system works based on three things: (1) the limited civic education we receive as kids that tells us how the system is supposed to work, but teaching us little about reality, (2) the scare tactics used by politicians in campaigns to garner support for their particular party, and (3) the blathering of talking heads on cable news and talk radio who label any judge who makes a decision they disagree with as an "activist" rather than delving into the real reasons behind court decisions. Now, it is my goal to make this space a fourth source of information.
Plans For Moving Ahead
At this stage, this is very much a work in progress. My hope is to tackle one legal issue a month that is getting coverage in the news and to provide you with a perspective to which you likely have not been exposed. My intent is to write numerous articles addressing various aspects of each issue. I want this to be a place for regular people of any political persuasion to get information and to learn. To that end I want readers to be able to ask questions, and I want to encourage dialogue in the comment section.
The first issue, for the remainder of November and all of December 2014 will be the Michael Brown case specifically, but also allegations of police brutality and how the courts handle those sorts of claims generally.