Once you get out of the city by a couple of hours, New York state is the south.
"Several of the [Albany Justices of the Peace] as I am well informed are very unfit for that Office, and others of infamous Character, were recommended ... to serve some Dirty purposes, wherefore I think it is my Duty to interpose, I hope you will not fail as soon as you can sending it to me, that the Commission may not rule before I am heard upon that Subject, which I flatter myself will not be thought unreasonable, when it is considered how much the Tranquility of the Country & the Happiness of the Inhabitants depend upon having such Magistrates as will act uprightly and impartially in their Office, which I am sorry to say many do not, as I am also, that there are not more Men of Abilities in these parts, but ye Country is young. It cannot be yet expected."
"[We ought to join in] prohibiting Justices from holding their Courts in any Taverns whatsoever, it being most notoriously their Practice to do so by Compact for their mutual Interest and to permit and join in intemperate Drinking during the Trial, to the Perversion of Justice and the increase of Perjury."
pwedza: I for one hope that somebody who has the authority to judge me has a little more to his name than, say, a beer delivery guy.
dios: Why is that? We have a system based on the belief that we should be tried by a jury of our peers. Most likely, if you ever get judged by a jury, it will be by people less qualified then even these justices of the peace. At least they are elected or appointed officials.
dios: But people often complain about how cold and daunting the law is. There are constant complaints of the need to have lawyers to get justice and the fact the system is set up to help the powerful at the expense of the weak. These justice courts are designed to be courts of access to the common man to resolve small disputes. Without these kinds of courts, how is one going to file their $1,000 lawsuit?
People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding. In violation of the law, defendants have been refused lawyers, or sentenced to weeks in jail because they cannot pay a fine. Frightened women have been denied protection from abuse.
People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial
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