George Graham

America’s Justice System is Basically Corrupt

In America the word justice doesn’t mean what you might think. The country’s justice system is so unjust that I wonder who set it up and why.

I could give you dozens of examples – the fact that so many black males are in prison… the absurd plea bargain system… the bail bondsmen industry… the appointment of judges for political reasons… trial by jury… unlimited awards… the wild variations in fines and sentences from one jurisdiction to another – and even within jurisdictions – to name a few.

Obviously, I can’t deal with such a massive topic in one blog, and I know some of you will disagree with me, anyway. About jury trials, for example. I know you think that some unschooled yahoos off the street are qualified to render a reasonable judicial opinion. I guess you’ve forgotten the OJ trial and those ridiculously disproportionate tobacco company fines.

But I can’t imagine you would argue that judges should be allowed to own stock in the companies they pass judgment on.

U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman, for example. This guy (photo above) struck down President Obama’s six-month ban on offshore drilling in the Gulf – while owning stock in the companies affected by the ban!

Obama imposed the moratorium after the U.S. Interior Department called for time to review safety regulations in light of the Deepwater Horizon blowout that’s destroying the Gulf, its wildlife and its economy.

Ironically, Feldman’s ruling was partly based on economic grounds: a lot of folks would be out of work during the drilling ban. He said this was unfair, that the ban was too broad, that it punished an entire industry for the sins of one company. And he used words like “capricious” and “arbitrary” to back up his verdict.

What about the people who are out of work because of the BP blowout? What about the millions who could lose their livelihoods if another well exploded?

Whatever happened to justice? Whatever happened to common sense?

Who, in their right mind, would question the imposition of a ban on deep-water drilling until the BP disaster is figured out and fail-safe precautions developed?

A judge who owns stock in the drilling companies; that’s who.

As long as the country’s judges – and politicians – own stock in public companies (even the Supreme Court justices), there can be no justice in America.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for