"Never ascribe to malice those things which may be explained by stupidity." That is an important phrase, and a necessary one; it keeps people from being paranoid. However, it has a corollary most people don't know: "One MAY ascribe to malice those things which stupidity cannot explain."
"Richard Dolan has pointed out that those at the top will ALWAYS take whatever measures necessary to stay at the top, and when knowledge is power, that means that they will make sure that they are in control of what people know or think they know. The sad fact is that as a society gets larger and more competitive, individuals become more anonymous and more Machiavellian. Social stratification and segregation leads to feelings of inferiority, pessimism and depression among the have-nots, and this promotes the use of "cheating strategies" in life which then makes the environment more adaptive for psychopathy in general. Such individuals may begin their lives in the lower socio-economic levels, but they often rise to the top. Psychopathic behavior seems to be on the rise because of the very nature of American capitalistic society. The great hustlers, charmers, and self-promoters in the sales fields are perfect examples of where the psychopath can thrive. The entertainment industry, the sports industry, the corporate world in a Capitalistic system, are all areas where psychopaths naturally rise to the top. Psychopaths seek power over others, it's that simple, and they gravitate to any field where there is power: medicine, law, industry, politics. It has always been that way; this is nothing new. Indeed, they comprise a very small segment of the population with an extremely large influence. It is due to this influence and the plausible lie that they can magnetize normal, decent people to follow them. They can make social conditions bad so that people feel oppressed and abused, and then they can easily blame it on someone else and agitate the people to go after and kill others based on such lies. Machiavelli discussed this sort of system plainly and openly and it has been the system of power since Cain killed Abel.
So, consider the idea that the ideas behind our social and cultural systems - including the legal system - were created by people whose agenda was to control society so that they could stay on top. And think about all the many ways they might go about doing that. These are the same people who set up the legal system so that people would "get what they deserved". Now, just think about that for a moment.
Imagine that you are a person at the top of the heap who knows that if you really set up a system where people got what they really deserved, you, yourself, would be instantly replaced - out the door in an instant! And so, if you are not just intent on staying on top and holding power, but cunning also, you will do everything in your power to insure that you and your kind are in charge of setting up that system, and that you remain in charge of it. You would make certain that evil was blended into the social and cultural concepts so seamlessly that nobody would ever notice.
And that is, quite literally, what happened. The individuals "at the top of the heap," who had gotten there by being the most vile and rapacious, then set about figuring out ways to deceive the masses all the while keeping their favor and adulation. They knew they had to make laws to keep order, and they knew they had to make those laws seem fair and reasonable to the masses of people or they would lose control. Losing control was the thing to be feared as anyone who has read "The Prince" by Machiavelli realizes. And so, Machiavellian manipulators at the top of the heap were deeply involved in the formation of our cultural and social norms, including our legal system.
In the earliest days of this "legal system" there was a form of "justice" called "trial by ordeal". An example of trial by ordeal was holding a red hot iron to a defendant's tongue. The plausible lie used to justify this behavior was: if the defendant was telling a lie they would have a dry mouth and would be burned by the iron - while a truthful person would have a moist mouth and would be protected. The fact is a NORMAL person who is telling the truth would most definitely have a dry mouth from fear, while a psychopath, who is incapable of feeling fear, would be the one with the moist mouth!!! Now, just think about that for a few minutes.
Now, our current legal system is descended from "trial by ordeal" - and really isn't much different though it is much cleverer and simply not as obviously evil as that one was. You have already read a few examples above of just how the system works. As Anna Salter said, if she was accused of a crime, she would rather have a good lawyer than be innocent. That is a truly sad statement on our reality. Here's a simple way to understand our legal system, adapted from the writings of Robert Canup: "Suppose that you are on a team that is engaged in a game and you discover that: The other team gets to make up the rules. The referee plays for the other team. One of the rules is that you are not allowed to score - the other team is at no risk. Only you can be scored against. That is precisely how our social, cultural, and legal systems operate. The conditions of our world are designed to create the maximum chance that evil will prevail and the good people will be punished by being good and telling the truth.
Punishing normal, decent, good people involves more than just creating a social system that acts against them. The system is designed to insure that these good people are subjected to as much pain as possible for the simple fact of being good and honest. An obvious example of punishing the innocent may be found in the way the victim in a rape case is treated; their reputations are dragged through the dirt - all in the name of justice of course. Note the case quoted above, of the fellow who raped his sister and her daughter and walked out of court after accusing her of being a mental case. The system that controls our thinking is set up like the legal system. People are taught to assume that, in any conflict, one side is lying one way, and the other is lying the other way, and people can just form opinions about which side is telling the truth. They are taught that the truth will lie somewhere between two extremes. That is a wonderfully plausible lie."
Canup suggests that, to see the evil behind that plausible lie, we must make a different assumption: let us assume that in such cases, one side is innocent, honest, and tells the truth. It is obvious that lying does an innocent defendant no good; what lie can he tell? If he is innocent, the only lie he can tell is to falsely confess "I did it." On the other hand, lying is nothing but good for the liar. He can declare that "I didn't do it" and accuse another of doing it; all the while the innocent person is saying "I didn't do it" and is telling the truth.
The truth - when twisted by good liars, can always make an innocent person look bad - especially if he is honest and admits that he has faults. If someone is telling the simple truth, and the other side is lying through their teeth, the basic assumption that the truth lies between the testimony of the two sides always shifts the advantage to the lying side and away from the side telling the truth. Under most circumstances, this shift put together with the fact that the truth is going to also be twisted in such a way as to bring detriment to the innocent person, results in the advantage always resting in the hands of liars. Canup points out that, even the simple act of giving testimony under oath is useless. If a person is a liar, swearing an oath means nothing to that person. However, swearing an oath acts strongly on a serious, truthful witness. Again, the advantage is placed on the side of the liars.
Proof is a familiar concept to those used to conventional logical thinking. However what passes for proof in cultural, social, and even legal terms often bears only a superficial resemblance to what would be considered proof by those who really use their minds to think.
For example: in formal mathematics, proof rules are established - postulates are set out and a structure is built based on the postulates and the theorem. Mathematical proof is pretty much inarguable: once a proof is accepted as true it is added to the pool of known truths.
In legal proof there is a set of rules and a theory which the prosecution presents, and attempts to prove the theory by clever argumentation rather than facts. Truth is not the objective. Getting other people to believe the theory IS the objective. However, the prosecution's theory is whatever the prosecutor believes that he can get away with based on what is known about the case, or what he can PREVENT from being known. What legal 'proof' does is serve as a structure for convincing a group of people of the guilt of a person, about whom they know nothing.
There is another significant difference: Mathematical proofs are judged by experts in the particular case who are free to study any and all information about the case. Legal 'proof' is judged by people who are guaranteed to be ignorant of the case, who are only allowed to study the information presented during the formal trial, and who are not even allowed to consult the texts for what the rules say.
Our culture is so permeated with this "legal argument" system that it extends into our daily experience: the one who is the slickest at using the structure for convincing a group of people of something, is the one who is believed. Very few people take the time to obtain hard facts by carefully studying any and all information about a situation. What we see something here that is set up to deceive people by presenting a familiar structure which, upon examination, is a sham. And again, the advantages fall to the hands of the liars. As Canup points out, in a courtroom, juries are prohibited by law from knowing anyone involved in the trial. If the defendant is a good person who is being set up and framed, people who know him well and who have had much opportunity to interact with him over a long period of time and observe him would have much more trouble accepting lies told about him. If the jurors knew the prosecutor and knew him to be a bullying liar, they might have trouble believing the lies he was telling. If the jurors knew the defendant, and know him to be a trouble making villain they might be more likely to convict him. By the same standards, if a person who is guilty is accused of a crime that he DID commit, as we have seen above, it is all too easy to get off. Corrupt lawyers, ignorant "experts," and blind judges let guilty people literally get away with murder all the time.
But, none of the conditions conducive to finding the TRUTH prevail in a courtroom even if we have been brainwashed to think that we have the "best legal system in the world." It is not much different than "Trial by Ordeal," only the hot poker has been replaced by a system that works as effectively to the advantage of liars. Here then we see the worst feature of the law: it is designed to make the world safe for evil people. In effect the law serves to take the horns away from the bulls, while leaving the lions their teeth and claws. Massive, overwhelming, advantage is placed in the hands of liars. Indeed, without the legal system insuring their safety, the world would be a much more difficult place for evil people.
Everyone knows somewhere deep inside, that there is something not right about our world. In fact, at the present moment, it could hardly be worse. But most people spend their lives avoiding that fact at all cost. The brutal truth is that the our social, cultural, and legal systems are all about making people helpless then hammering them without mercy - all the while involving everyone in the illusion that right prevails. This is an issue that will never die. It seems impossible to convince people that private behavior cannot be predicted from public behavior. Kind, nonviolent individuals behave well in public, but so do predators, rapists, murderers, pedophiles, and COINTELPRO agents who operate largely to shape and vector "social norms," or "official culture."