Thursday, August 22, 2013
"Kill All The Lawyers"
In Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part II, act IV, Scene II, Dick the Butcher utters one of Shakespeare's best known lines: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." While this was stated by a rebel looking to overthrow the government, over the past four centuries the law profession has gotten a stranglehold on society to the fiscal detriment of everyone.
Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the length it takes to bring killers to justice. Look at what has happened over time.
The people that participated in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln were brought to trial and executed within three months of the assassination.
Charles Guiteau, the assassin of James Garfield was brought to trial and executed nine month's after Garfield's death.
Leon Czolgosz, the assassin of William McKinley was brought to trial and executed 45 days after McKinley's death.
Giuseppe Zangara attempted to assassinate President-elect Franklin Roosevelt in 1933 and killed the mayor of Chicago instead. He was tried and executed the next month.
Meanwhile, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the 9-11 attacks was captured in March 2003 and more than ten years later he has yet to be tried. This whole time the legal meter has been ticking. Lawyers and related legal costs have run into the tens of millions of dollars.
Then there is the case of Nidal Malik Hasan, the admitted Fort Hood shooter who killed 13 people and injured 30 others. It has taken more than three an a half years to bring him to trial at the cost of more than $5 million. He's admitted he's guilty. How does that cost us $5 million?
Although these are highly public cases, they are by no means isolated cases. Throughout the country there are thousands of lawyers dragging things out with the meter running, costing society millions and over time billions of dollars.
Doesn't anyone see this as a complete waste of resources and money? What has happened to our modern legal system to bilk the taxpayer out of billions and delaying justice?
Unfortunately there is not likely anything that will be done about this travesty. Lawyers have a stranglehold on the political lobby industry and are well represented in all levels of government. Because taxpayers do not directly write the check for these over-payments, there is no call for reform.
If I were emperor for a day, I would say, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyer's over-billing. Make justice fair but swift."