In America, we pride ourselves on being a nation of laws. But what happens when the justice system breaks down? When the courts are no longer impartial, when can the government use them to silence its critics? This is the reality of kangaroo courts in America. It seems like more often than not we see the hand of justice being pointed at the people the government doesn’t like, vs the biggest criminals. I’m sure you have seen some of the latest top ten most wanted lists, but when your not seeing the most notorious example of crime, do you know how the justice system really works?
What is a Kangaroo Court
Kangaroo courts are a type of court that operate outside of the law. They are often used to punish people who have spoken out against the government or silence political opposition. Kangaroo courts are common in countries with dictatorships, and they have been known to hand down arbitrary and unfair judgments.
The term is mainly derived from the concept of justice going through leaps, like in the case of a kangaroo: “jumping” or intentionally ignoring evidence that would favor the defendants.
Kangaroo courts have been used throughout history to silence dissenters. In Nazi Germany, opponents of the regime were often tried in kangaroo courts and sentenced to death. In Stalin’s Soviet Union, kangaroo courts were used to purge political enemies and keep the population in line. Today, kangaroo courts are still being used worldwide to silence those who speak out against their governments. And sadly, America is not immune to this problem.
Did you know?
A kangaroo court has never been a court by a kangaroo, but there has been nothing known about its origins. It has been suggested that kangaroo courts got their names because the courts initially had rapid and unexpected movements from one place to the other. However, the above hypotheses have not been proved. The word kangaroo court has the earliest usage in the Southwest USA since the early 1900s when kangaroos were introduced.
Why Do We Say Kangaroo Court
The Kangaroo court was inspired by the picture of these judges moving around the country, less influenced by justice than by a desire for justice. The term is widely used by those who are criticizing a court.
How It Works
Generally speaking, kangaroo courts are any proceeding that tries to ensure a fair hearing with no standard due process protections, including the right to call witnesses and the right to confront your accuser, and a hearing before a judge.
Biased or rash court proceeding that ends with the highest possible punishment: the illegal prosecution carried out by individuals who take the justice of the law into their own hands, such as those carried out by vigilantes or prisoners. Moreover, these types of cases happen all the time in America. They are called grand jury trials. Where prosecutors can bring whatever fake charges they want, it doesn’t matter what illegal evidence they bring the only check against any misconduct is the jury.
In theory, there’s protection against judges and prosecutors railroading whoever they want. In practice, it doesn’t always work that way. Juries in certain areas are going to have specific biases and prejudices that will be exploited.
There have been multiple cases of kangaroo courts in America over the years.
One notable example is the case of Chelsea Manning. Manning is a former soldier convicted of leaking classified information to the public. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but President Obama later commuted her sentence. However, Manning is still facing charges in a kangaroo court set up by the Trump administration. If convicted, she could be sent back to prison for 20 years.
Dr. Conrad Murray
Another cause of a kangaroo court in America is the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Murray was the doctor who treated Michael Jackson before his death. He was put on trial for involuntary manslaughter, and despite evidence that he did not cause Jackson’s death, he was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison.
Kangaroo courts are a travesty of justice, and they have no place in America. We must reform our justice system so that it is fair and impartial, and we must hold those who abuse their power accountable. Only then can we honestly say that we are a nation of laws. As of right now, law enforcement wields far too much power to orchestrate justice rather than administer justice. If you want to make a difference you can share this article, or contact your local or state representatives and tell them that you are concerned about law enforcement overreach.