Justice isn't blind
I find it odd and kind of embarrassing that our country doesn't practice blind justice.  We think we do, and many historical representations of Lady Justice have some sort of blindfold to suggest that laws and punishments are enforced and meted out without regard for the personal qualities of the accused.  But that's plainly not true.  Legal cases are decided in a courtroom, where the defendant is clearly visible to the judge and more importantly the jury.  If justice was blind, no one would know the identity of the accused, or their race or gender.  Seeing a person in a courtroom in baggy jeans, an offensively-themed t-shirt, and facial tattoos suggests guilt.  Facts and legal arguments are unnecessary.  Whether or not that person is guilty, I see that as a problem. #law

How not to get killed by police
It's a bad thing when a cop kills somebody.  Let's establish that up front.  Murder is bad, whether it's justified or not.  That said, I feel like there are a few simple rules people should follow to lessen their chances of accidentally or intentionally being killed by police: 
  1. Don't play with things that look like real guns.  Whether it's a toy gun or a cell phone case that looks like a gun, you probably shouldn't pretend to carry a weapon, and you shouldn't brandish that weapon near or at a cop.
  2. Don't act aggressive near or towards a cop.  Cops are like grizzly bears.  Strong and powerful, but generally harmless unless provoked.
  3. Don't resist arrest.  You won't win.  Yes you might be treated unfairly or racially profiled, and that's not cool.  But when you fight back, you get killed.  When you run away, you get killed.
  4. Stop doing illegal things.  I agree, laws are stupid.  Certain things shouldn't be illegal.  But when you make the decision to engage in a little civil disobedience, however righteous your intentions,  you're still breaking the written law of the land, and you'll likely face the consequences of your actions.  Death isn't necessarily a consequence, but your chances of getting killed are greatly reduced if you simply don't break the law.

Unequal justice
In recent legal news, the guy who shot up a Colorado movie theater pled not guilty by reason of insanity, and the guy who bombed the Boston Marathon was just convicted. 

I'd like to put forth a likely controversial and possibly offensive position:  I don't think all people deserve equal justice.  I think in certain legal cases, when the evidence is overwhelming and the verdict is clear, the offender shouldn't be sent to jail or to a psychiatric facility.  They shouldn't have an opportunity to better themselves or improve their mental health.  They shouldn't have the possibility of gaining parole or freedom. 

I think they should be publicly executed.  I realize this is a ridiculously violent and archaic means of punishment.  And I understand that there's the question of whether the death penalty is even effective at preventing crime.  And I know that killing one person doesn't bring any kind of justice or comfort to the families of the victims these people killed. 

For me, it's partly a practical concern.  Prisons are expensive, and they're crowded.  Why should I spend my tax money housing and nurturing a person who decided to break the law by killing a bunch of people? 

But it's also value-based.  I believe in psychology.  I understand that a mental disorder can make a person do terrible things.  But I think the scope of those terrible things, specifically multiple murders, should make a person ineligible for a second chance.  In other words, I literally don't think the life of a mass murderer is worth saving.  I'm intentionally placing a value on the life of mass murderers, and I'm saying that value is less than that of normal people.  This makes me a judgmental monster, I know, but hey at least I haven't killed anyone. #law

Policing police (3)
A few weeks ago I was driving on a 30-mph road near the high school in my town.  It was the middle of the day, and I was behind a cop.  The cop was driving at or under the speed limit (bravo), and he didn't have his siren or lights on.  He didn't appear to be in any rush, which is unusual but perfectly acceptable.  As we approached a stop sign, I maintained a safe following distance (of course) and watched as the cop slowed down only slightly, then coasted through the stop sign without coming to a complete stop, after which he continued on his leisurely way. 

In my short time on this planet, I've seen cops do many seemingly illegal things.  I've seen them turn around on those dirt roads in the middle of the highway where it says not to make any turns (emergency vehicles are allowed to do this).  I've seen them drive through red lights on their way to important business.  I've seen them travel obviously over the speed limit in an apparent attempt to apprehend a speeding suspect.  These examples are all sort of gray areas, because we as a society have collectively agreed to exempt certain people from following laws when said people are trying to enforce laws.  It's kind of a catch-22, but it's generally seen as a good thing.  Otherwise, for example, everyone would speed all the time and simply ignore flashing lights in their rearview, knowing that eventually the cops would be left in the dust. 

But I'm pretty sure failing to stop at a stop sign when not in pursuit of a criminal or somehow otherwise enforcing the law is a black and white issue.  This cop should've gotten a ticket, been forced to pay a fine, and gotten points on his license and insurance.  That's what would've happened if it had been anyone else in the same situation, except an attractive young girl with a good crying reflex.  So the question that comes to mind is:  Who polices the police?  Who makes sure the law-enforcers remain law-followers?  Because if there's one group I'd sign up for in a heartbeat, it would be that one. #law