Justice in the US

/ 7 May 2009

I’m tired of all the ways in which people think the US is somehow “better” than other nations, more democratic, more just, and so on. Here are two stories about teenage boys that ought to have us asking probing questions about what justice looks like in the US. The first is a kid who spent two years in jail for a crime he did not commit — and for which there was no evidence other than the confession coerced from him at 12 years of age. The second is a 16 year old kid who is still being held in juvenile detention for allegedly making terroristic threats. Because he was arrested under the Patriot Act his single parent mom has few ways to get access to the charges, let alone defend him.

What do we mean by "justice" in this country, and how can we possibly hope to uphold it anywhere else if we can't do so here?

UPDATE: Turns out that the claim that the second kid was being held under the Patriot Act is not accurate.