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Problems with the courts, crime in the United States

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Lee Enterprises newspapers have been running a series of articles on the broken-down criminal defense system in western states.

Their research finds that many thousands of people, in each state having the information, lose their Sixth Amendment constitutional right to counsel due to crushing caseloads and, of course, lack of sympathy for minorities and the poor.

Many are forced to plead guilty to misdemeanors when they don’t understand the consequences and may not even be guilty, just wanting to get out of detention and maybe get probation or community service, some getting jail sentences instead. They want to end the long, grisly ordeal of the “swift and equitable justice” system in America. But the system ends them, their jobs and dreams instead.  

At the same time, as recent events continually show, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in support of a “well-regulated militia” has lost not only its proper enforcement but its obvious meaning as well. Now any citizen in America can become an unregulated militia in his own right by simply purchasing and using a military arsenal. He can use a popular, but illegitimate, interpretation of his rights to infringe on the right to life and property of everybody else.

Even though the right to counsel is leaking away, at least we know everyone has the backup firepower to blast away at whatever ails them once they manage to get out of jail.

Kimball Shinkoskey

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