ConspiracyMidtermPaper - 1 Matthew Zabinsky Professor Jerry...

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1 Matthew Zabinsky Professor Jerry Cohen Idea of Conspiracy in American Culture Midterm Paper: Question 3 March 15, 2007 Servants of Justice Displaying Unjust Behavior A prosecutor functions as an administrator of justice, an advocate, and an officer in a court of law. He is expected to exhibit sound discretion in the execution of said tasks, and to take remedial action upon discovering occurrences of injustice. Above all else, the duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice , an objective that does not always coincide with the hunt for conviction. Among the primary responsibilities of a police officer are the maintaining of public order, the prevention and detection of crime, and the apprehension of criminal offenders. A policeman is expected to exhibit sound discretion in the performance of said tasks, and to take remedial action upon discovering internal occurrences of injustice. But police can also be used as an instrument of oppression in jurisdictions with hostile political climates, suppressing dissent and crushing protests at the command of powerful ruling regimes. As king of the courtroom, the judge looms as the most influential authority figure of them all. A judge is supposed to uphold the integrity and independence of his institution, as judicial autonomy is essential to sound decision-making. A judge must act
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2 at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the neutrality of the judiciary. With peoples’ very lives at stake, he must repress all social and political prejudices during the performance of his duties. In an ideal United States of America, Lady Justice would never remove her blindfold, thus preventing the scales of justice from leaning too heavily to one side. But the reality in which we exist contains powerful forces that continue to corrupt the principle of blind justice for dishonorable purposes. Even the most respectable figures of authority are prone to displays of erroneous behavior, and one particularly infamous court case can attest to this notion. * * * Due to the political overtones that dominated its background, the 1920s trial of Sacco and Vanzetti is recognized as one of the most controversial cases in American history, in which two Italian immigrants were executed in Dedham, Massachusetts after allegedly performing the gravest of crimes, first-degree murder. Countless critics have steadfastly accused the prosecution and judge of blatant misconduct in allowing anti- immigrant and anti-anarchist sentiments to drastically influence the course of the case. Before we begin an analysis of the notorious powers that be that stirred up so much controversy, let us first review the events that created a national frenzy. In May of 1920, Bridgewater Chief of Police Michael Stewart set a trap to capture
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course AMST 10a taught by Professor Cohen during the Spring '08 term at Brandeis.

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ConspiracyMidtermPaper - 1 Matthew Zabinsky Professor Jerry...

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