As crime increases in both intensity and rate, the justifications for violence are similarly increasing. Not only is aggravated assault being justified but the ultimate in crime, the murder of innocent civilians, is being excused through reference to such phenomenon as road rage, black rage and, more recently, sports parent rage, among others…
Added to that, and as the equally famed defense attorney, Leslie Abramson points out, the criminal justice system is further conspiring against its own self and undermining its own effectiveness by reneging on the principle of the equality of all before the law. People are not comparably judged for comparable crimes, according to Abramson. Indeed, the arguments forwarded by both Dershowitz and Abramson appear to underscore the degree to which the law is failing in its responsibility to deter crime through the deliverance of justice. Even while conceding to the validity of Dershowitz and Abramson's arguments, the fact remains that some homicides are justifiable, that retaliatory justice is a legitimate phenomenon and, the key to the deliverance of effective justice lies in the implementation of Black's Law Dictionary's distinctions between the various types of homicide.
Although deadly violence against others is a crime which, in the majority of cases, cannot go unpunished, the law recognizes that some acts of violence may be provoked and justified. As clarified in Black's Law Dictionary, there are three categories of homicide, those being justifiable, excusable and felonious. The first two embrace homicides of varying degrees of culpability, ranging from the completely justifiable for reasons of necessity, such as self-defense, to the partially understandable, such as the retaliatory. At the same time, however, the law clearly recognizes the inexcusability of some acts of violence and, accordingly, determines the protection of society against its perpetrators through the levying of severe punishments. Indeed, as may be inferred from Black's Law Dictionary, the law recognizes varying degrees of culpability and acknowledges that some homicides are not just justifiable but necessary, just as it maintains that some are inexcusable and entirely without justification.
Exploiting the law's recognition of the justifiability of some types of homicide, some criminal defense attorneys have sought the propagation of psychological justifications which are little other than "junk science" (Dershowitz). As Dershowitz points out, novel, and unsound, justifications are constantly being invented. For example, the defense lawyer for the African American male who shot commuters for apparently no reason, argued that he was suffering from black rage. In other words, his experiences as an African American had driven him to the point where he unthinkingly succumbed to his rage and retaliated against an abusive and unjust society by killing commuters. Irrespective of legitimacy, or lack thereof, of the phenomenon of black rage, the rights of the victims need be considered. As Dershowitz emphasizes, even though defense lawyers paint images of unsympathetic victims and sympathetic defendants, the fact is that the greater majority of victims are innocent. Their rights must be considered and as long as murder is unjustifiably excused with increasing inventiveness, they cannot be. The law, the very concept of justice, is being undermined.
Not only is the law being undermined by junk science and juries' acceptance of it, but also by the fact that the law simply does not regard all as equal. Leslie Abramson, a criminal defense attorney, contends that justice is skewed towards a male-centric definition whereby it more readily ...
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