Justice is defined as the quality of being fair and reasonable, though our justice system today is the opposite of just that; fair and reasonable. Though some receive justice, some are left without justice for themselves or their loved ones. It is especially disappointing when those who are innocent are wrongly convicted of crimes they didn’t commit, but are unable to provide solid evidence and proof of their innocence. It took Donald Marshall Jr. 11 years to get justice; in the meantime he spent his time in jail.
The court failed to have solid evidence that he was the murderer, they later found out who the real culprit was, a man who is described as having a fetish for knives. The court hadn’t taken the time to solve this case in the first place; if they had then perhaps Mr. Marshall wouldn’t have had to spend 11 years of his life in jail. On January 26 1990, when Mr. Marshall was cleared of the charges, Alexander Hickman, the then Chief Justice of the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland said “The criminal justice system failed Donald Marshall Jr.
at virtually every turn from his arrest and wrongful conviction for murder in 1971 up to and even beyond his acquittal by the Court of Appeal in 1983, I really hope that at long last one Donald Marshall Jr. will stand high in the eyes of Nova Scotians, where he deserves to stand”; with that he was also given $700,000 by the provincial government. Some may take the money and think it’s enough for what they’ve been through; others may feel that no money in the world can make for what they have been through in those years they had to spend in jail.
In the film”…And Justice For All” we see judge Flemming use blackmail to get Arthur Kirkland to defend him, which he believes will show everyone just how innocent he is; if a man who hates him can defend him then he must be innocent. They had made a deal that Kirkland would defend Flemming or else he gets disbarred if he refuses. As it turns out Flemming turns out to be guilty of the crime, rape, though Arthur has to keep his word and defend his client.
In this case, justice has been served to the woman who was raped, because Arthur unexpectedly turns on his client and says “My client, the honorable Henry T. Fleming, should go right to fucking jail! The son of a bitch is guilty! ” Another scene from the movie where injustice is shown is when the character of Ralph Agee doesn’t get a fair trial becausethe changes made to a document don’t reach the judges standards. The judge then sends him to jail, later that day he kills himself in dread of what his life in prison would be like.
In the Dean Zimmerman case from 2001, he was only sentenced less than 4 years for raping tormenting and torturing his then pregnant wife for more than 48 hours. At the time Zimmerman was on parole for raping a 19 year old woman. After being let out of jail he raped another woman, this time it was a 24 year old woman from Edmonton, he tortured her for 9 hours involving a toilet plunger, and he received 40 months in prison. One would think the court would give a man who clearly doesn’t stop sexually harassing women a longer sentence, or send him away.
Another case where the system failed to be just was in the kidnapping case in Winnipeg, where a man and a woman kidnapped and imprisoned two girls who were only 12 and 13 years old. The 13 year old ended up being pregnant form the numerous times she was raped. The woman was sentenced to 2 years, and the man to 9, though only half of the sentence was fulfilled. What makes one so sure that the judge who is looking at their case doesn’t have a bias opinion? He/she could have been bribed, or even threatened to make a case go the way they choose.
Or the judge may even hold a grudge against you or your lawyer like in the movie “…And Justice for All” , and not want to give one the satisfaction of freedom, so instead falsely accuse one of a crime they didn’t commit. Canada’s legal system is unjust, unfortunately those who should get what they deserve don’t get that, and innocent people are stuck with a burden for the rest of their lives. Canada needs to fix the system so that criminals get harsher punishments for their crimes, and they get the real culprit.