Sunday, October 30, 2016

Democracy, Integrity and the law: Andrew L. Urban blogs from South Africa asks a very good question: So who you're gonna trust? The law?" (Our readers can reflect on that question in the context of their own 'democracies.' HL)..."After three years of research into wrongful convictions/miscarriages of justice, I sadly report that the rule of law does not always rule in our criminal justice system. “If the Australian public was aware that dozens of innocent people are serving lengthy sentences for murders and rapes they didn’t commit – and the real criminals are living free among us – we could expect considerable outrage and demands that ‘something be done’,” suggests Adelaide based Dr Robert Moles, co-author of Forensic Investigations and Miscarriages of Justice (Irwin Law, 2010), the definitive book on Miscarriages of Justice. Pursuing convictions at the expense of catching the actual culprits of serious crimes, grave errors at trial by prosecutors and judges alike, shocking failures of forensic evidence and a failure to learn from historic cases (such as the wrongful Lindy Chamberlain conviction 30 years ago) are some of the reasons. In other words, lack of integrity – which can also be fairly described as a stinking cocktail of arrogance, incompetence and self aggrandisement.";


POST: 'Democracy demands integrity, by Andrew L.  Urban, published on his Blog 'Pursue Democracy on October 30, 2016.

GIST: "We used to trust them. Scientists, doctors, journalists, commentators, the media generally (and the Australian public’s own ABC in particular), academics, public servants, police, the courts, sportsmen and women … no, perhaps not politicians so much. A few, though … We used to expect integrity from them all. We no longer expect it. We longer get it. We distrust them all. This is damaging, weakening democracy in ways we can already see. The most obvious sign of the weakening of our democracy in the absence of publicly visible integrity is the nature of the debates we are and have been having – about everything. Our public discourse is marked by dishonest smears, personal attacks, by lack of responsibility and accountability for what is said – and done. Lack of integrity – and the seeming lack of a desire for it – is corroding the foundations of a healthy democracy in which differences of opinion can be debated – well informed, respectful and rational argument can be had. When it is seen as more desirable to pursue an agenda than to honestly seek a solution, we are in deep trouble.Whenever a genuine opinion is blasted with vitriol instead of argument, democracy loses a fragment of its strength. When opinions and points of view are withheld (silenced) for fear of denigrating blowback – instead of genuine argument – democracy loses another fragment. Bit by bit, all those fragments that bind to each other and make the big picture of democracy whole and meaningful, the jigsaw of democracy develops holes and gaps and the big picture is damaged, loses value. The glue that ultimately holds a democracy together is integrity – in all walks of public life, whether professional or political.........So who you’re gonna trust? The law? Well, not entirely. After three years of research into wrongful convictions / miscarriages of justice, I sadly report that the rule of law does not always rule in our criminal justice system. “If the Australian public was aware that dozens of innocent people are serving lengthy sentences for murders and rapes they didn’t commit – and the real criminals are living free among us – we could expect considerable outrage and demands that ‘something be done’,” suggests Adelaide based Dr Robert Moles, co-author of Forensic Investigations and Miscarriages of Justice (Irwin Law, 2010), the definitive book on Miscarriages of Justice. Pursuing convictions at the expense of catching the actual culprits of serious crimes, grave errors at trial by prosecutors and judges alike, shocking failures of forensic evidence and a failure to learn from historic cases (such as the wrongful Lindy Chamberlain conviction 30 years ago) are some of the reasons. In other words, lack of integrity – which can also be fairly described as a stinking cocktail of arrogance, incompetence and self aggrandisement. The notion of integrity is bound up with respect; respect for a democratic society. But perhaps most crucially with respect for oneself."

The entire post can be found at:

https://pursuedemocracy.com/2016/10/democracy-demands-integrity/
 
PUBLISHER'S NOTE:  I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:  http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html  Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com. Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;