How Corrupt Is America’s Judicial System?

In the early 2000s, two Pennsylvania judges sent thousands of children to a juvenile detention center, in exchange for financial kickbacks from detention center operators This “kids for cash” scandal resulted in long prison sentences for the guilty parties, and raised the issue of judicial corruption

A recent watchdog report estimated that almost half of all Americans think the US justice system is corrupt It also approximated that over 25 million individual bribes are paid within the judicial system each year

So what’s going on? Why are America’s judges so corrupt? Judges occupy a particularly privileged status within the judicial branch Although federal judges and supreme court justices have life-long terms, in many states, judges must still run for reelection While elections are supposed to hold local judges accountable to their constituents, it can often create conflicts of interest, just as it does with politicians In one 2004 case, an Illinois judge won an appointment to the high court, partially thanks to financial support from a large insurance agency Suspiciously, the judge later voted to overturn a billion dollar lawsuit against the agency, leading to a federal investigation of the circumstances

As judges are usually unopposed in their rulings, they hold the power to make dishonest judgements for financial gain, as in the kids for cash scandal In a 2013 case, a Texas state judge was convicted of receiving more than $250,000 dollars in bribes and kickbacks in exchange for favorable rulings Some judgements were even sold for as little as $300 dollars a piece Judges with tenure and life-long terms also pose a problem because they are essentially incontrovertible Alabama Supreme Court Justice, Roy Moore, has more than once defied popular, higher court rulings because of his own religious bias

Most recently he ordered state officials to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples Few penalties have been levied against Moore for his actions, though, in 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center officially filed an ethical complaint The American judicial system plays one of the most important regulatory roles in society While an overwhelming majority of judges play by the rules, the lack of oversight and accountability leave the door wide open for corruption Although a few government organizations like the Public Integrity Section study public officials, the investigation and prosecution of judges is a “highly sensitive” issue

Watchdog groups and media reports indicate that corruption is clearly present within the judicial system But prosecution is difficult, when those in question are the ones interpreting the law While corrupt judges can fortunately be voted out if they are local, Supreme court judges are here to stay for life, whether we love them or hate them To find out why, watch our video Thanks for watching TestTube News today! Please remember to like and subscribe for more videos! See you next time

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