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John Grisham Finds Justice Not in the System, but in the System’s Defeat

By Paul Craig Roberts

A while back I wrote about British female authors of mystery novels during 1920-1940, such as Agatha Christy, Dorothy Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, and Elspeth Huxley, the last two being colonial British. I noted at the time that even in the case of murder in the novels, those decades as portrayed in the novels were a highly civilized period in England. Readers have let me know that they, also, have found relief from our woeful times in the civilized recent past described in British mystery novels.

As an aside, I cannot help but say that ideological feminists who claim the oppression of women are ignorant beyond belief. Female authors became very wealthy. Their books sold in millions of copies–and not only to women. Successful movies were made of the books. At least two and perhaps all four of those mentioned above received national recognition by being named “Dames of the British Empire.” As my friend, Peter Bauer, Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, told me on his elevation to the peerage, Britain has always been a society open to ability. Alas, no more, with merit displaced by race, gender, and sexual preference, the British have returned to the status-based society of the feudal era. Merit is nowhere in sight.

But I am drifting off again into our distressing era. I chose John Grisham as my author for relief from today’s reality, and as soon as I did realized I have made a mistake and have again landed us in distress as John Grisham is one of the most truthful tellers of the utter corruption of our time.

I am going to go forward with it, regardless. But next time the author will be Louis L’Amour, the author of US western frontier stories that certainly are an escape from the present world.

Grisham is everywhere praised for his “storytelling abilities.” But he is not telling stories. He is describing our world. Grisham is thoroughly familiar with the American criminal justice system, and justice is the last thing that it delivers.

In his book, The Runaway Jury, Grisham displays the utter corrupt process of a jury trial. Consultants and lawyers on both sides of the civil trial spend millions of dollars analyzing the jury list, each looking for jurors biased in favor of their side of the conflict. The judge issues questionnaires that indicate which side of the conflict the jurors are on. In other words, there is no supposition whatsoever that jurors will make an honest decision based on the evidence.

Neither the plaintiff lawyers nor the defense regard the “trial” as anything but an attack on money, an effort at redistribution. One side wants the attack to be successful, the other doesn’t.

Grisham impels us to think about trials and juries. What does a juror’s decision mean when it is a consequence of an emotional identification of prejudice with guilt or innocence? What does a “jury of one’s peers” mean in a tower of babel where one’s “peers” have nothing in common with the defendant?

Until 1948 a British Duke accused of treason or felony charges could only be tried by his peers in the House of Lords. In other words, it was understood that a Duke’s peers were a small group. In America today, defendants such as Derek Chauvin and Donald Trump are tried in the media and pronounced guilty before they go to trial. Chauvin was declared guilty by the jury despite the fact that all evidence showed him innocent. Jurors were not willing to suffer consequences from brainwashed neighbors and activist groups of finding innocent a “racist killer” the media had declared guilty. As I have reported previously, in my youth if the press declared someone guilty prior to a jury producing that verdict, it was grounds for dismissal of the charges.

It is the unreliability of juries and of prosecutors, who are motivated by convictions not justice, that have resulted in the almost disappearance of felony and civil trials. According to federal statistics, 97% of felony charges are settled with plea bargains. Civil trials, unless the stakes are extremely high, are settled out of court. Trials are a lottery. Even innocent defendants will admit guilt to a lesser crime, a madeup one that did not happen, in order to avoid the risk of a jury trial.

In The Broker Grisham reveals the CIA as Murder, Inc. and US presidents as CIA accomplices. An outgoing president pardons a criminal so that the CIA can learn something important to them about who kills him. The president understands that his pardon is a death warrant, but does so regardless. The president’s successor, unaware that the pardon is part of a CIA operation, seeks to discredit his predecessor for selling pardons. In America today, there is so much corruption that it feeds off itself.

Grisham is not writing thrillers to amuse us. He is writing truth. He is telling us how utterly corrupt is the society we live in, which we have been indoctrinated to believe is honest, good, and a force for truth. The people are as corrupt as the government that uses them. When religion is dead, where does restraint come from?

Reading Grisham’s books will open your eyes to the corrupt America in which you exist. Next time we will escape with Louis L’Amour.

Paul Craig Roberts is an economist and author. He was the United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Ronald Reagan and – after leaving government – held the William E. Simon chair in economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies for ten years and served on several corporate boards. A former associate editor at The Wall Street Journal, his articles have also appeared in The New York Times and Harper’s, and he is the author of more than a dozen books and a number of peer-reviewed papers.

The author graciously has granted this website permission to reprint selected essays. All rights are reserved.

The views and/or opinions expressed by the author do not necessariloy reflect those of APS Radio News or of its affiliate, APS Radio.

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