Pretrial “Justice” Is Anything But

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Laura Williams

“Last week, Matthew Chalkley walked out of a Georgia jail, having been held there, without bond, for more than three years. A jury of his peers exonerated him in a two-day trial, saying the state had insufficient evidence to prove the charge of felony sexual assault. This young man spent 39 months in jail (four months longer than the average time served for the same crime) without ever being tried or convicted. … The presumption of innocence — the right not to be punished until you are tried and convicted — is one of most critical innovations of the American ideal of due process. That singular ideal is under attack from an out-of-control criminalization system (we dare not say ‘justice’) where the full slate of constitutional protections (peaceful arrest, lawful searches, speedy trials, juries of your peers) is available only to those who can pay to ensure they’re enforced.” (11/18/21)