Guttman: A broken system and a challenge for legal scholars

May 13, 2016

Reuban Guttman, one of the lead lawyers for Lynn Szymoniak’s mortgage-fraud whistle-blower case, offers the following assessment of the current state of the American legal system, in The Global Legal Post:

“The United States’ legal system is broken and there is plenty of blame to go around.”

Now there is a blunt statement that should cause our neighbours across the globe to wonder why America’s minions travel to all corners of the earth extolling the virtues of the American rule of law.

To be clear, the system is broken, but certainly not the framework or values that launched the system.

On the criminal side of the equation, our jails house too many people whose derelictions would have been better handled with absent incarceration. Too many times, the incarcerated end up behind bars because they lack the resources to post bail, pay for adequate counsel, or appreciate their rights. Too many times we incarcerate those who should be treated by a viable mental health system but we do so only because our mental health system is over-taxed or otherwise not available. The statistics also indicate that the US criminal justice system has not dealt minorities a level playing field. Video tapes, iPhones and cell phone surveillance have illuminated the data, providing stark evidence of racially driven disparate treatment at the front lines of law enforcement.

All of this, which has made headlines in the US, has been the topic of Presidential debates at least between the two Democratic candidates. It is an important topic and merits aggressive public dialogue and the necessary changes.

The remainder of the article can be found at The Global Legal Post.