From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia “Primal Fear” is a 1996 American neo-noir crime and thriller film directed by Gregory Hoblit and starring Richard Gere, Edward Norton and Laura Linney. The film tells the story of a defense attorney, Martin Vail (Gere), who defends an altar boy, Aaron Stampler (Norton), charged with the murder of a Catholic archbishop and his ensuing case against prosecutor Janet Venable (Linney). The movie is an adaptation of William Diehl‘s 1993 novel of the same name. Norton’s role in the film received multiple accolades, including a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Primal Fear is the first theatrical film for television director Gregory Hoblit, who has directed episodes of Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue for producer Steven Bochco. It was also Edward Norton’s first feature film. ————————————
Many people might be tempted to categorize this story in the “horror” genre: yet, strictly speaking, it would not be completely correct to do so. There are no overtly frightening, paranormal or supernatural events within its structural frame to warrant such a category – yet, it evokes horrifying images, in one’s mind, of restless phantoms and evil spirits that haunt the locality where the graphically violent, brutal and savage crime of murder is known to have taken place. It is not so much the gushing forth of red, arterial blood nor the agonizing screams of pain coming from the constricted throat of a dying man that evoke a sense of dread and foreboding in our hearts; this is a fear that is so innate, so intense, so primeval and so powerful that it comes from the very core of one’s soul. This story will send a shiver of uneasiness down your spine and it will raise goose bumps on your arms. It has a quality of creepiness and eeriness about it that is – surprisingly – not so much about blatant and overt savagery and explicit violence; it is what is cunningly concealed and hidden from view that makes it so scary. It is about a “pack of wolves in sheep’s clothing” – it is about how malevolence and evil can be hidden cleverly and slyly in a veneer of outward goodness, piety, righteousness and benevolence. It is a mockery of humanity itself and concerns all manner of hypocrisies. YET IT IS – IN EVERY WAY – A STORY OF OUR TIMES. What is the fear? This huge fear concerns the bleakness of the fate of mankind. It concerns the future of the human species – the way it stands now. If this is the way Life has now fashioned itself, what will be left for us? Doesn’t anyone care enough to change the current status quo? Well, we should start caring NOW….long before such a bleak fate overtakes us too!
“Primal Fear” is a film that has been given an “R” rating by the film critics for its depiction of a brief but grisly, blood-spattered crime-scene; for it use of pervasive, strong and vulgar vocabulary and for the depiction of an act of explicit sex between 3 adults – in short, this sex scene is pornographic, perverted and equivalent to an orgy. This being the case, this blog has been rated by me as being suitable for ‘all audiences – of all ages.’ Why so? A time has come where we can no longer hide our children from the growing horrors of our times. Discretion and parental guidance are advised, of course, but be well aware that your children will not thank you for “putting blinkers on their eyes;” for shielding them and over-protecting them from the harsh and cruel realities of Life. Such a controlled exposure is needed for them to be able to distinguish correctly between what is “right” and what constitutes the acts of “wrong-doing” It is the thorough understanding and complete avoidance of the Machinations of Evil that Benevolence and Righteousness can begin to be understood, implemented & maintained in our lives.
This is Chicago, USA. The film begins with a prominent, ‘hot-shot’ defense attorney, Martin Vail (Richard Gere), smartly dressed in a tuxedo making a marked entrance on the scene. He is seen striding confidently through the glittering hallways of a magnificent benefit where most of the legal fraternity and the Bar Council members are in attendance. This benefit’s chief-guest is Archbishop Rushman (Stanley Anderson) –one of the most well-liked, well-respected and congenial members of the Catholic Church in Chicago. Archbishop Rushman’s choir of altar boys is in attendance at this function too. This choir’s tenor and descant singing voices are so pure and so ethereal that they almost seem to be heavenly and angelic. One can barely imagine that this singing is coming from the throats of young boys and young girls who are barely pre-pubescent minors or barely teenagers themselves. It goes without saying that the jolly and humorous Archbishop and his choir leave the audience in raptures of delight. Singing in this choir, in a fairly noticeable place is Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) – a teenaged altar boy who suffers from a severe case of stammering and stuttering.
Martin Vail is a charismatic, high-flying and suave defense attorney – his guileless and confident speech is known to be highly persuasive among grand juries. He is a handsome and arrogant man who knows how to use his good looks and charming ways to get his high-paying clients “off the hook.” He feels no great qualms in representing mobsters, even if they are of Mafia notoriety. More often than not, he manages to get his clients acquitted based on exploiting, “loopholes” in the law. He is an over-confident man who likes being in the media spotlight – he greatly enjoys his “two minutes of fame” of being portrayed – in a place of prominence – in the morning newspapers or in the evening news on television. Even though he claims that each person is entitled to a suitable defense; he is simultaneously also seen as being a ruthless man who cares very little for the guilt or innocence of his clients – he is only interested in “getting the goddamn job done” and earning more than just a few good bucks that go towards his ‘perks’.
Archbishop Rushman is a beloved member of the Church and of society in general. His upright stature inspires great respect among his parish members and from people who know him from afar. He is an influential man who has very many high-ranking political connections and is generally well-known for his various charitable endeavors and philanthropic ways. He is an ostensibly holy, good and noble man who seems to be well-worthy of an exclusive and prioritized entrance into God’s Heavenly Kingdom. Yet closer inspection of the “goods” proves that he has many skeletons in his closet – skeletons that would have been best kept hidden from public view had not an unprecedented event taken place. Few people realize that the archbishop is a man who enjoys his sumptuous and lavish lifestyle – afforded to him by his high-ranking position. He enjoys the splendor of his living quarters and loves making a ceremony of wearing and removing his chunky, expensive jewelry made of the finest gold and studded with precious gems. His personality is a classic case of “appearances being deceptive” and of “a book that is best when not judged by its cover.”
Aaron Stampler is a 19 year-old, altar boy who sings in the archbishop’s choir. He is a good-looking boy with a tall, lanky and strapping frame. He is not overtly muscular but one can imagine that he is very strong – as only a young man can be. He suffers from a case of serious stammering as if he is perpetually hesitant or embarrassed about something. His face is so open, so honest and so devoid of deception that one would need to be very hard-hearted indeed to imagine that such a “waif of a boy” is capable of a heinous crime of unparalleled hatred, cruelty, fury and savagery.
Aaron had been in Chicago for barely 2 years when Archbishop Rushman passing by, in his Cadillac, on the streets of Chicago saw this young, good-looking boy begging for money. The Archbishop took the boy under his fold by providing him food and shelter within the church premises. Aaron was given the job of being an altar boy and sang in the Archbishop’s choir. When Vail first met Aaron in his prison cell, he saw that the boy was sitting with his head buried between his knees and looked as if he had wept. The boy had such a shy and introverted demeanor that Vail became convinced wholeheartedly of this boy’s innocence. As a result, Vail and his team become ever-more zealous in their quest for the truth. They start making detailed, private investigations of their own and as the case progresses they are more and more scandalized and disgusted by all the “crap” that they dig up.
Aaron had been arrested by the police because his face, body and clothes were blood-spattered and he was seen fleeing from the crime-scene. He was finally apprehended by the police and the archbishop’s gold ring was found in his pocket. Aaron told Vail that the police had initially found him lying in an unconscious state at the side of the corpse of the archbishop. Aaron told Vail that he often, “lost time” – he used to fall unconscious often and as a result, he used to lose track of time and suffered long spates of amnesia (loss of memory). Aaron told Vail that he had again “lost time” when he was seen at the crime scene – but Aaron strongly believed that a third person had also been present at that time and that is was this third person who had murdered the archbishop. Aaron was very convincing in the “third person” theory and this is exactly what Vail used as his main item of defense.
The prosecution is led by an attractive and capable woman – Janet Venable (Laura Linney). Venable used to be a former lover of Vail but she once stated that theirs was not an illicit love affair in the truest sense of the word – it was “just ‘a one-night stand’ that happened to last for 6 months.’ This situation makes the trial rather awkward for both Venable and Vail but the up-side of it all was that since they had, at one time, known each other very intimately; they both had the innate capacity to reading the other’s mind.
In the course of the trial, it was revealed that the archbishop had been stabbed, at least, 78 times with a huge meat-cleaving, sharp-edged knife. His body bore various, deep stab wounds – his fingers had been savagely chopped off; his genitals had been stabbed repeatedly and his eyes had been gouged out – till only two gaping holes filled with blood remained. The crime scene was so heavily blood-spattered that it sent a shiver of fear up the spine of even the most seasoned detectives. Thick, red blood was seen streaming, pooling and congealing everywhere on the floor and sprays of arterial blood covered the walls where one could only imagine that a terror-stricken, dying man dashed against in his quest to evade the frenzied hand that bore the knife that kept coming ceaselessly down upon him. This was a man who had been tortured greatly – a man who undoubtedly had let out agonized screams before death finally saved him from further agony, more savagery and untold brutality.
As the murder trial begins, Vail discovers that powerful civic leaders, including the corrupt State’s Attorney, John Shaughnessy (John Mahoney), have lost millions of dollars in real estate investments due to an ill-fated decision made by the Archbishop not to develop property – worth millions of dollars – on certain church lands. The Archbishop had received numerous death threats as a result of his bad judgment call. Vail loses no time in exposing these elements in front of the Judge and the Grand Jury.
Even more shocking, highly disgusting and scandalous is the highly obscene and offensive contents of a video-tape that Vail happened to “borrow” from the apartment of the Archbishop. The video-tape showed an explicit sexual act of pornographic value – it portrayed Stampler being forced to engage – simultaneously – in a demeaning and humiliating sexual act, along with another altar boy and a girl named Linda (Azalea Davila). Vail is now in a true dilemma – introducing such a tape into evidence would certainly make the jury sympathetic toward Stampler but it would be playing into the hands of the prosecution at the same time because it would provide Stampler with a very good motive for such a horrific murder.
When Vail had gone to search for Linda as a possible defense witness, he was shocked to find her dead and decomposing corpse lying in an abandoned parking lot.
Molly Arrington (Frances McDormand) is the psychiatrist who makes a psychiatric evaluation of Aaron – on the behest of Vail. In the course of her evaluation, she finds out that no one really knew about the many episodes where Aaron had “blacked out” and fell unconscious. Aaron stated that his mother had died when he was very young and his father was “not a nice man.” Aaron implied through this simple statement that he had suffered the trauma, for many long years, of being sexually abused, since his youth, at the hands of his father. Aaron claimed that his father was a chronic alcoholic and drunkard who used to beat up his wife and then his son daily. Aaron had suffered tremendous physical, mental and sexual abuse since childhood and he had Vail’s and Dr. Arrington’s wholehearted sympathy.
When the contents of the debauched video tape had come to light, Vail confronts Aaron and accuses him of being a liar and a cheat. Aaron’s personality suddenly undergoes a vast change – just as if he had pulled a mask off his face. Aaron’s entire persona changes in the span of a split second – his polite and subservient attitude rapidly changes into one of venom, violence and intense aggression. He physically attacks Vail and punches and kicks him till he is groaning in pain. Aaron is no longer Aaron anymore – he now goes by the name of “Roy.” Roy is the dominant, protective and foul-mouthed alter-ego of the man who called himself Aaron. Arrington – the psychiatrist – had also been a witness to this sudden deterioration in Aaron’s personality and she became more and more convinced that he suffered from a dissociative multiple personality disorder. She considered him to be a very, very sick young man who needed to be hospitalized and treated in a psychiatric ward and not being imprisoned, in a high security prison, for years on end. When Aaron came around to being himself, he suffered from a complete loss of memory about the change of his persona into the aggressive and violent personality that he called, “Roy.” Vail again finds himself in a tight spot because he knows that he will not be able to change his plea into one of “insanity’ during the course of an ongoing trial.
During the course of the trial, however, Vail manages to cleverly drop hints about the Archbishop’s pedophilia and his lust for sexual encounters with young boys and young girls. Vail portrays the archbishop as being a fraud, a kinky pervert, a voyeur, besides being a known pedophile – a fact known to the people who were closest to him. Yet these disgusting and sickening details were kept well-hidden from public view and especially kept as a well-guarded secret from the media – the Church had a certain dignity and stature to maintain in society – the clergy and religious order could not be seen as having “lost face” with such blatant and disgusting hypocrisy.
Vail manages – somehow – to enter evidence of Aaron’s multiple personalities (stating that it goes towards showing his state of mind at the time of commission of the crime) and he even manages to persuade the judge that Aaron’s psychiatrist will testify to the same. Aarington gives a very persuasive argument in favour of Aaron – she stated that Aaron, technically speaking, did not commit this heinous crime – it was the “other” personality/the third person, Roy, who did so. Aaron should not be held as being guilty for suffering from a serious psychiatric disorder – for which he needed immediate help and medical treatment rather than severe punishment.
Venable, the prosecuting attorney, in the meanwhile, is under intense pressure from both Shaughnessy and her boss Bud Yancy (Terry O’Quinn) to deliver a guilty verdict. Vail manages to have one of his assistants deliver the sex video-tape to the residence of Venable. Even though she would be appalled at its contents, he knew that she would not be able to resist using it as a strong motive for torture and murder. Vail also knew that his former lover – Venable – would realize who the sender of the tape was but that she would not be able to do too much about it. Vail “uses” his past liaisons with Venable to force her to introduce this sex video-tape into evidence and thus he hopes that Aaron will gain the sympathy of the grand jury and a possible acquittal.
At the climax of the film, Vail puts Aaron on the stand and makes him testify, in front of the Judge and the grand jury. Vail starts by gently questioning him but fast moves on to taunting Aaron as gutless, ‘sissy-boy’ and a cowardly ninny. Aaron’s personality rapidly falls apart and the raging and violent persona of Roy makes his appearance in front of the flabbergasted open court. Pandemonium breaks out when Roy jumps out of the witness stand and viciously attacks Venable. He almost manages to throttle and strangle her to death before he is overpowered by the guards and taken into custody once again. The judge (Alfre Woodard) finally dismisses the jury in favor of a bench trial and then finds Aaron “not guilty by reason of insanity”, remanding him to a maximum security mental hospital. Venable is fired from her job for allowing the Archbishop’s perverted deviancy and sex crimes to come to light in full view of the public and the paparazzi. She had been told to remember that the Church is all-powerful – the church itself and the clergy could never ever be allowed to lose face in public.
In the very last and final scene, Vail visits Aaron in his holding cell. He tells Stampler the good news and of the consequent dismissal of the case. Aaron tells Vail that he recalls absolutely nothing of what had happened in the courtroom since he had “lost time” – yet again. However, just as Vail is leaving, Aaron asks him to tell Miss Venable that he hoped that her neck is okay – a fact that he could not have possibly been able to remember if he had lost consciousness – as he always used to claim. Vail suddenly realized – with shock – this grave discrepancy in Stampler’s statements. He turns around and immediately confronts Stampler. The latter gives Vail a triumphant smirk of derision and scorn. Stampler taunts Vail when he states quite candidly and calmly, “Aaron never really existed, you know? The only personality that truly exists is that of Roy. It was Roy who killed Archbishop Rushman because the latter took pleasure in humiliating Aaron. It was Roy who murdered Linda – in cold blood – he discarded her corpse in an isolated area because he considered her as having ‘loose morals.’ Roy felt that Linda had made Aaron believe that she was his true girlfriend when all along she was not – hence Roy saw fit that she be put to death through his own hands. Finally, Roy tells Vail – “I would have thought very little of your prowess if you had not realized that there never ever was an Aaron.”
Vail is so flabbergasted and disillusioned at this obvious betrayal that he turns around and walks away and refuses to look upwards at the window from which he is very sure that Stampler is watching him and maliciously laughing his head off at him. Perhaps you can imagine what Vail must have felt at that time – it is not very pleasant for an educated and experienced adult/attorney to know that he has been deceived so easily and so quickly by a boy who is barely out of his adolescence himself!
THE LAW OF DOUBLE JEOPARDY HAD JUST ATTACHED ITSELF TO THIS CASE – this law states that a person cannot be prosecuted twice for the same crime. For all intents and purposes, Stampler was “legally” found to be a free man. The Face of Evil manages easily to have the Last Laugh even when the grievous crime of murder has been committed. A murderer is seen to walk free and there is seemingly nothing that anyone, in the whole wide world, can do to prevent it. Do you think that this is a very pleasant feeling for any of us? Honestly, WHAT IS LEFT FOR US if such an injustice is part and parcel of legality and our legal system? If a 19 year old teenager could fool not only his seasoned defense attorney but also managed to fool an experienced and learned psychiatrist in the bargain – besides fooling the entire court, including the Judge herself, then honestly what is left for us? I hope it frightens you because I certainly know that such blatant injustice gives me “the creeps!”
Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder)
From “WebMD:” Dissociative identity disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder) is an effect of severe trauma during early childhood, usually extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
What Is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Most of us have experienced mild dissociation, which is like daydreaming or getting lost in the moment while working on a project. However, dissociative identity disorder is a severe form of dissociation, a mental process, which produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity. Dissociative identity disorder is thought to stem from trauma experienced by the person with the disorder. The dissociative aspect is thought to be a coping mechanism — the person literally dissociates himself from a situation or experience that’s too violent, traumatic, or painful to assimilate with his conscious self.
Is Dissociative Identity Disorder Real?
You may wonder if dissociative identity disorder is real. After all, understanding the development of multiple personalities is difficult, even for highly trained experts. But dissociative identity disorder does exist. It is the most severe and chronic manifestation of the dissociative disorders that cause multiple personalities. Other types of dissociative disorders defined in the DSM-IV, the main psychiatry manual used to classify mental illnesses, include dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, and depersonalization disorder.
What Are the Symptoms of Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Dissociative identity disorder is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states that continually have power over the person’s behavior. With dissociative identity disorder, there’s also an inability to recall key personal information that is too far-reaching to be explained as mere forgetfulness. With dissociative identity disorder, there are also highly distinct memory variations, which fluctuate with the person’s split personality. The “alters” or different identities have their own age, sex, or race. Each has his or her own postures, gestures, and distinct way of talking. Sometimes “the alters” are imaginary people; sometimes they are animals. As each personality reveals itself and controls the individuals’ behavior and thoughts, it’s called “switching.” Switching can take seconds to minutes to days. When under hypnosis, the person’s different “alters” or identities may be very responsive to the therapist’s requests.
What’s the Difference Between Dissociative Identity Disorder and Schizophrenia?
Schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder are often confused, but they are very different. Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness involving chronic (or recurrent) psychosis, characterized mainly by hearing or seeing things that aren’t real (hallucinations) and thinking or believing things with no basis in reality (delusions). People with schizophrenia do not have multiple personalities. Delusions are the most common psychotic symptom in schizophrenia; hallucinations, particularly hearing voices, are apparent in about half of people. Suicide is a risk with both schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder, although patients with multiple personalities have a history of suicide attempt more often than other psychiatric patients.
What Roles Do the Different Personalities Play?
The distinct personalities may serve diverse roles in helping the individual cope with life’s dilemmas. For instance, there’s an average of two to four personalities present when the patient is initially diagnosed. Then there’s an average of 13 to 15 personalities that can become known over the course of treatment. While unusual, there have been instances of dissociative identity disorder with more than 100 personalities. Environmental triggers or life events cause a sudden shift from one alter or personality to another.
How Common Is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
Statistics show the rate of dissociative identity disorder is .01% to 1% of the general population. Still, more than 1/3 of people say they feel as if they’re watching themselves in a movie at times, and 7% percent of the population may have undiagnosed dissociative disorder.
The Seven Deadly Sins
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a classification of vices (part of Christian ethics) that has been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct Christians concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. In the currently recognized version, the sins are usually given as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. The Catholic Church divides sin into two categories: venial sins, in which guilt is relatively minor, and the more severe mortal sins. Theologically, a mortal or deadly sin is believed to destroy the life of grace and charity within a person and thus creates the threat of eternal damnation.
Lust or lechery (carnal “luxuria“) is an intense desire. It is usually thought of as an excessive sexual want; however, the word was originally a general term for desire. Therefore lust could involve the intense desire of money, food, fame, or power as well. In Dante’s Purgatorio, the penitent walks within flames to purge himself of lustful/sexual thoughts and feelings. In Dante’s Inferno, unforgiven souls of the sin of lust are blown about in restless hurricane-like winds symbolic of their own lack of self-control to their lustful passions in earthly life.
Wrath (Latin, ira), also known as “rage“, may be described as inordinate and uncontrolled feelings of hatred and anger. Wrath, in its purest form, presents with self-destructiveness, violence, and hate that may provoke feuds that can go on for centuries. Wrath may persist long after the person who did another a grievous wrong is dead. Feelings of anger can manifest in different ways, including impatience, revenge, and vigilantism. Wrath is the only sin not necessarily associated with selfishness or self-interest, although one can of course be wrathful for selfish reasons, such as jealousy (closely related to the sin of envy). Dante described vengeance as “love of justice perverted to revenge and spite“. In its original form, the sin of anger also encompassed anger pointed internally as well as externally. Thus suicide was deemed as the ultimate, albeit tragic, expression of hatred directed inwardly, a final rejection of God’s gifts.
“Primal Fear” is not only the story of the intense fear and terror that come from the agonizing screams of a dying man; primal fear is also a story of OUR FEAR as we look into the gloom, the bleakness and the darkness of the abyss that is our future. It is about living through the terror of the Dark Ages where we willfully allow murderers to walk free – primal fear is the story of CONTEMPORARY TIMES where we sit back and literally let Satan have the Last Laugh. DON’T YOU THINK THAT A TIME HAS COME WHERE WE OUGHT TO TURN THE TABLES ON THE FACE OF EVIL? DON’T YOU AGREE THAT THE BENEVOLENT RULE OF THE SUPREME BEING SHOULD ONCE AGAIN HOLD SWAY OVER THIS PLANET? WOULDN’T WE ALL BE HAPPIER IF RIGHTEOUSNESS ONCE AGAIN RULED THIS EARTH? YES, IT CAN AND WILL BE DONE. I’ll GIVE YOU A FEW HINTS AS TO HOW WE CAN MAKE THIS POSSIBILITY A DISTINCT REALITY – OUR REALITY FOR A BRIGHTER TOMORROW!
Most problems stem from the fact that there are vast discrepancies between what is considered to be legally correct and what is considered to be morally and ethically right. When considering morals and ethics, there are only clear shades of black and white – it is like asking someone – “Either you are a virgin or you are not!” However, there are many, many shades of grey in what is considered to be right according to the Law – it allows shrewd defense attorneys to walk in a ‘zig-zag’ fashion between the boundary – the strict border – that separates Right from Wrong. It has helped defense teams to acquit millions of guilty criminals because such defense lawyers managed to exploit a “loophole” in the law. These defense lawyers manage, in this way, to obtain an outright acquittal for their clients because they used “a technicality in the law” to their advantage. These lawyers appease an uneasy conscience by feeling that what they have done is right because they are just at the border of the right side of the law.
As a result, it is not surprising that all laws – whether they are civil laws, corporate law or criminal law – they all need to be re-worked, revamped, revised and re-phrased with discretion so that no loopholes remain. THIS IS A JOB FOR ALL THE JUDGES, LEGISLATORS AND EXPERTS IN EACH SPECIFIC FIELD OF CRIME TO SIT DOWN AS A UNITED TEAM AND WORK OUT TOGETHER, AS A TEAM – STEP BY TEDIOUS STEP. IT IS A VITAL JOB FOR EACH AND EVERY NATION IN THE WORLD – to be started immediately. IT WILL MEAN A WHOLE LOT OF HARD WORK FOR A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE BUT THINK OF IT AS OUR LEGACY TO THE FUTURE GENERATIONS. IT WILL BE OUR GIFT TO THEM FOR A BETTER TOMORROW. It is very important that we all realize that Times have changed drastically and that people have changed too and this change is definitely for the worse – rather than for the good. What were, at one time, considered to be practical, viable and useful laws no longer apply in the present context because the extent of grave and heinous crimes has increased tremendously and alarmingly and continues to increase daily. It is as if we will see no end to the world of crime and criminals! This increase in crime is so rapid that it is frightening. The nature of crimes has changed over time because scientific advances like the use of the internet, mobiles, the media coverage, perusal of graphic and violent novels, movies and television serials, etc – all inadvertently aid criminals in the commission of their crimes. We must learn to move with the times if we want to make a noticeable difference for the better – I’m sure that the majority of the world’s population agrees with me on this point.
As a layman in the law, if certain legal discrepancies are glaringly obvious to me, I’m sure that such vast discrepancies are obvious to most of you too!
For example: (a) THE BURDEN OF PROOF – this legal terminology is used, more often than not, for the State Attorney’s office/District Attorney’s Office/ the Prosecution Team who is necessitated, by the law, to prove a person’s guilt/complicity in a given crime “BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.” (Legal jargon) It has happened – fairly often – that grand juries were unable to convict a person of the grave crime of murder in the First Degree because the nature of the evidence and proof at their disposal did not convince and persuade them to convict without the slightest grain of doubt in their minds. Sometimes, defense attorneys have been able to argue convincingly that their clients ought to be acquitted because the police/district attorney’s office had tampered with the evidence (if you recall, such was the case in the O.J. Simpson trial.) Sometimes, due to huge levels of corruption, bribery, blackmail and political pressure, key pieces of evidence, in a murder trial, suddenly get “misplaced” or are found to be totally and miraculously destroyed. This is because the guilty man is an important personality – a V.I.P. What happens? Yes, you guessed right – another guilt-ridden criminal is allowed – by law – to walk free.
Eye-witness testimony is not considered to be very reliable, at the best of times – most witnesses can easily be manipulated into changing their testimony, on cross-examination, from a clever defense attorney. Such attorneys create sufficient doubt in the minds of the jurors and lo and behold – we have yet another undeserved acquittal of a guilty criminal. At times, when political pressure is very great, the prosecution is known to make secret and underhand “deals” with jail inmates who act as “snitches” for the prosecution. These witnesses have a testimony to offer that has been distinctly tampered with – yet the world watches; protest neither verbally nor through strict action. Such snitches are dangerous and vicious criminals themselves – their credibility is very low because such witnesses are really pathological liars, drug-addicts, alcoholics and petty thieves themselves. Yet – it may surprise you to know – how gullible grand juries can be! We must remember that a lot of extraneous factors are involved here – sometimes the prosecution/police force faces tremendous pressure, from the “top brass” to win a trial because the defendant is either the son of a senator, a minister or a celebrity. This has resulted in many innocent victims being sentenced to long and difficult years in prison because somebody took the easy way out! In the meanwhile, the real culprit walks free and commits more crimes – each one more serious than the first! Do you think that this is what we call Justice? SUCH BLATANT HYPOCRISY ON THE PART OF BUREAUCRATS WHO OCCUPY POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY AND POWER OUGHT TO BE SEVERELY PUNISHED!
(b) THE LAW OF DOUBLE JEOPARDY states that a person cannot be prosecuted for the same crime twice – especially, if he/she has already served his/her sentence in prison. In the film, “Double Jeopardy,” Ashley Judd is wrongly convicted for having “sliced and diced” her husband’s body while they were sailing out at sea. Her husband’s corpse was never recovered. Judd conducts her own private investigation and soon discovers that her spouse has shacked up with her best friend and worse still is the fact that they have in their custody her young son. A lawyer friend who is also a jail inmate with Judd once gives her the following advice, “You have already served the term of your sentence in prison for the heinous crime of murder. You could very easily choose to go to Times Square and shoot your husband in the head – in full view of the public – and there is not a damn thing that anyone can do about it. This is the law of double jeopardy!”
(c) Hostile witnesses are those people who are legally permitted, in certain circumstances, to cite the FIFTH AMENDMENT on the grounds that whatever information that they might reveal to the court might incriminate them. In short, important information remains confidential. Think of cases where the attorney-client relationship/the doctor-patient relationship and the priest-confessor relationship all state that the information that is revealed to them, in confidence, is to be kept strictly private and sacrosanct. Let’s suppose that a man confesses to a priest how he has committed a brutal rape and savage murder – yet the priest is bound by his OATH OF CONFIDENTIALITY to not reveal any of the details to anyone. In case, the court decides to subpoena the priest for withholding vital information concerning the commission of an infamous crime, he can still cite this oath and remain silent. Well, where does all this leave us? NOWHERE! In this way, we have willfully allowed millions of criminals to evade punishment for their crimes.
(d) JUVENILE LAW, JUVENILE JUSTICE AND THE DETERMINATION OF THE LEGAL AGE WHEN A YOUTH IS DEEMED AS BEING A JUVENILE OR AN ADULT: Juvenile courts are known to prioritize rehabilitation over punishment –yet depending on the grievous nature and the gravity of the crime in question, it has become of utmost importance that the legal age of juvenile delinquents be LOWERED. This allows for juveniles to be tried in a court of law as adult citizens and where the sentencing of such criminals is NOT as per the juvenile laws pertaining to minors. We shall need to leave this “fluid” decision to the discretion of experienced and learned judges who need to consider the defendant’s current age, his/her level of maturity (or lack thereof); his/her ability to distinguish “RIGHT” from “WRONG;” his/her prior offenses and prior criminal record – if any exist; witness testimony and most of all, whether he/she demonstrated all the thought processes and the logical reasoning of an adult at the time of commission of the crime. Stop dithering and hesitating ineffectually – concentrate more on the wickedness and alarming rate of serious crimes committed by an ever-increasing number of juvenile delinquents who choose purposely to exploit this defective law!
(e) THE CRIMINAL STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS: A statute of limitations is an enactment in a common law legal system that sets the maximum time after an event that legal proceedings based on that event may be initiated. Most states place limits on when a criminal prosecution must begin. This is accomplished through what are called statutes of limitations. A statute of limitation is a time period in which a case must be brought. If the statute of limitations for a crime is 10 years, then if the crime is committed and 10 years go by, you cannot be convicted for that crime, even if you are guilty. AS EACH DAY GOES BY, THE SITUATION WILL CONTINUE TO DETERIORATE SO RAPIDLY AND SO DRAMATICALLY THAT WE WILL FINALLY LOSE COUNT OF THE NUMBER AND NATURE OF THE CRIMES AND OF THE CRIMINALS THEMSELVES. IT WILL BE THE SADDEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND IF WE PERMIT SUCH ATROCITIES TO PASS US BY UNPUNISHED – just because of our own apathy, our own indifference and our own self-serving ways!
TO ALL THE JUDGES AND LEGISLATORS IN THE WORLD, SHIVA WONDERS – YET AGAIN – WHEN YOU TRULY PLAN TO GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER. DO YOU PLAN TO DO SOMETHING CONCRETE AND USEFUL IN THIS REGARD OR DON’T YOU? PERHAPS YOU DON’T THINK OF IT THE WAY I DO BUT WHEN WE LEGALLY GIVE OUR “SUPPORT” TO DANGEROUS AND CRUEL CRIMINALS, WE BECOME ACCESSORIES AFTER THE FACT TOO. WE ARE AS GUILTY AS THE GUILTY CRIMINALS THEMSELVES! JUST THINK ABOUT IT.YOU WOULD DO WELL NOT TO COME BACK TO ME WITH USELESS PROTESTS TO THE CONTRARY – YOU ARE ALL IN ENOUGH TROUBLE AS IT IS!!! LET’S START MAKING A DIFFERENCE – FOR THE BETTER – NOW.
When the dawn breaks and tomorrow comes, we shall make it our solemn oath to experience the warmth, radiance and the ultimate glory of an exquisite and memorable sunrise. We will celebrate – united – a brand-new era and will not allow the whiff of Evil to spoil either its goodness or its lingering fragrance. THE WHOLE WORLD SHALL PLEDGE TODAY TO MAKE IT THEIR BOUNDEN PROMISE, OATH AND DUTY TO DESTROY THE DOMAIN OF SATAN – ONCE AND FOR ALL.
“IN GOD AND IN THE LAW, WE DO TRUST” – let’s keep it that way!