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Let’s Try All Sensational Criminal Cases on TV!

The jury system, and laws in general, can produce unpopular results and must therefore be changed.

by
Dan Miller

Bio

July 7, 2011 - 12:29 am

Obviously, the bunch of long dead white males — who couldn’t even spell “defense” correctly but still wrote the fool thing — didn’t know any better and didn’t think at all clearly. In fairness, it should be noted that “defence” was then an accepted spelling and that it may not have been entirely their fault that they screwed up royally in substantive respects as well; in those primitive and unenlightened times they had no opportunity to watch Saturday Night Live, news on NBC, CBS or ABC, or Dancing with the Stars. Nor had they the benefits of modern public education. The authors were even unaware that the purpose of sensational criminal trials was to help newspaper publishers to sell newspapers and thus to augment their meager advertising revenues. That is surprising because even then, in the dim dark ages of the United States, there were newspapers.

True, even though invented ages ago and in popular use when (according to Vice President Biden) President Franklin Roosevelt appeared on national television in 1929 to discuss the great stock market crash with the American people, television was not available in those unlamented dark ages. The authors should also have anticipated that Al Gore would eventually invent the internet and that a now increasingly important reason for spectacular media events criminal trials is to enable bloggers to get “hits.” The authors of the Constitution should have anticipated, but did not, the now unsurpassed importance of the media to the functioning of a free and democratic society. The failure of the authors to anticipate that such advances would produce remarkable changes in the way a free, democratic, and modern society must function throws their entire document into amply deserved disrepute; it must be shredded (although that’s not quite what the author of the linked article says). Its authors didn’t know much and what they thought they knew was entirely wrong.

Here are a few things the framers did not know about: World War II. DNA. Sexting. Airplanes. The atom. Television. Medicare. Collateralized debt obligations. The germ theory of disease. Miniskirts. The internal combustion engine. Computers. Antibiotics. Lady Gaga.

One must wonder how, because of their abysmal ignorance, the authors even managed to find the place where the Constitution was to be written. Maybe once they found it they could not find what was then euphemistically referred to as the necessary house and had to hurry.

Whatever may have been their reasons and excuses, the failure of the authors of the Constitution to anticipate and to deal adequately with critically important matters is unforgivable and remedial action must be taken, immediately: all provisions of the U.S. Constitution — and all similar to them in state constitutions — failing to take into account the true reasons for sensational criminal trials must be declared null and void ab initio. We cannot wait for the constitutions of the United States and of the states to be amended in ordinary course; we can’t wait for the United Nations or even the Department of Justice. The Supreme Court must convene tomorrow if not sooner in special session, before it’s too late, and so rule. It will be their last session, because thereafter all matters now presented to the Supreme Court will instead be decided by media-guided public opinion polls.

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