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With liberty and justice for… some: The sentencing of Clare Bronfman

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22.09.2021

Covering courts has opened my eyes to some amazing issues of injustice, partiality and collusion, in a system that is supposed to be blind. From civil and business courts, and to criminal as well. While there are those who subscribe to a notion that the system is too lenient to criminals, and therefore prejudice that stops bad people up is good, I still believe in due process and the ideal that courts should be fair and equitable. I am old fashioned that way, adhering to the axiom as stated by the legal scholar Sir William Blackstone, who said, “It is better that ten guilty Persons escape than one innocent suffer.”

The United States criminal justice system is renowned for its intricacies and established protocol. Under the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution, individuals accused in criminal acts are guaranteed the right to a swift and public trial by their peers as well as proper legal counsel to assist in their defense.

Unfortunately, the system is not perfect, and more often than not, legal cases where multiple parties are involved are prone to disparities. Here, I am referring to asymmetrical sentencing, which has been the subject of intense criticism, especially due to the fact that multiple parties implicated in a collective crime are tried separately, increasing the probability of unfair and unjust sentences. Asymmetric sentencing is a fundamental flaw of the U.S. justice system, and an example shone through the Brooklyn, New York case brought against those involved with the infamous NXIVM group.

Mind you, this is a post on due process and a fair judicial system and not one about the guilt or innocence of anyone, or my opinions on the seriousness of the allegations. While the charges facing specific members of this organization are serious and despicable, the corresponding investigation dug deep into the underworkings of the group and implicated many individuals for their involvement in the group’s activities. Notably, the group’s leader and founder, Keith Raniere, was found........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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