The criminal justice system is many things to many people. To some, it is a venerable institution, trying to balance many competing interests and points of view. To others, it may be the instrument of oppression. But the longer you look at the system and the more cases you examine, the more you realize that it is exceedingly prone to error.
In the U.S., parents, teachers and other observers have spent a great deal of time discussing bullying in recent years. Anybody who was ever bullied as a child remembers what it feels like: the fear, shame and sense of isolation.
"It’s a significant amount of work to undo a criminal conviction." That statement made by the director the Minnesota Innocence Project underscores the importance of preventing an incorrect or mistaken conviction in the first place. Every statement, every decision and every action during a criminal prosecution can be significant and mistakes or oversights along the way can lead to years in prison.
People often complain about jury duty. It interferes with their routine. They have to take time off work. In Minnesota, they are only paid $10 a day, which if you have to park near the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis, won't even cover your cost of parking.