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July 11, 2013 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2013-07-11
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Thursday, July 11, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4C MId41 pan Baily
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
la b 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu

Thursday, July 11, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

9

Realjustice

KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN-CHIEF

ERIC FERGUSON
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ELLIOT ALPERN
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Decreasing dumping
State should protect environment by increasing fee
M ichigan is known for its many lakes and dense for-
ests - and to some, its remarkably cheap landfills. At
the moment Michigan's tipping fee -the cost the state
charges to dump trash in Michigan landfills - is only 21 cents per
ton, which is remarkably low when compared to its neighbors. The
corresponding fee in Wisconsin is $12.99, and just over the Canadian
border Windsor charges a whopping $64. Michigan's low tipping fee
is a cause for concern, as it encourages other states and Canada to
shunt their trash into Michigan. Since so much of Michigan's iden-
tity as a state is based in its natural beauty and the state is always
in need of more money, Governor Snyder and the state legislature
should raise the tipping fee in order to preserve the environment.
Moreover, they should also take a variety of steps to ensure that as
little recyclable material as possible finds its way into landfills.

Two years ago, after the verdict
was released in the infamous
Casey Anthony trial, Facebook
and Twitter
suddenly exploded
with millions of
newly minted
criminal justice
experts writing
things like, "Well,
our justice system
certainly has a JAMES
lot of flaws," and BRENNAN
asking questions
like, "What kind of
country are we where someone who is
clearly guilty walks free?" The same
will probably be said of some other case
where the jury ends up disagreeing
with whatever decision the media lays
down before all the facts are en, but that
is criminal justice in America.
One of the most vital aspects of our
criminal justice system - as defined
through hundreds of 'years of both
English and American common law -
is the presumption of innocence until
guilt is proven. In a criminal trial, the
judge will instruct the jury that, unless
the prosecution has proven guilt of
the defendant beyond any reasonable
doubts, the defendant can't be found
guilty. In our criminal justice system,
the entire burden of proof rests on the
prosecution - the defense does not
have to prove innocence. Our culture
outside of the courtroom, however, is
far different.
In a world of perp walks, Court TV,
talking heads and social networks -
where everyone finds their inner legal
expert - all the key aspects of the
greatest justice system developed are
tossed aside in favor of sensationalism
and mistruth. Sir William Blackstone,
in his 1765 work "Commentaries on
the Laws of England," wrote the now
famous expression, "the law holds it
better that 10 guilty persons escape,
than that one innocent party suffer."
Blackstone's "Commentaries" is one
of the single most influential pieces of
writing when it comes to American
law, as many of our founding fathers
and earliest judges and lawyers were
trained under the ideals he expressed.
The very foundation of criminal law is
that justice should be served, but under
no circumstances should a punishment
be served to an innocent person. This
means every so often, a guilty man
may walk free. Our justice system isn't
perfect, but neither are any others.
The criminal justice system doesn't
become an abysmal failure when some-
one like Casey Anthony or O.J. Simpson
walks free. The criminal justice system
truly fails when millions of young men

and women are sent to jail for petty, non-
violent crimes, ruining their chances of
regaining a normal life. The criminal
justice system truly fails when the death
penalty remains in existence despite
hundreds of innocent people being put
to death or scheduled to be put to death
based on shaky evidence. The criminal
justice system trul fails when those
who are rich and powerful regularly
skirt justice while the poorest in society
are given underpaid, overworked public
defenders and forced into guilty pleas.
Everyone finds
their inner legal
expert.
In the U.S., the number of incarcer-
ated citizens per capita is higher than
anywhere else in the world - even more
so than China, Cuba and Iran. The only
country that may come close to the U.S.
is North Korea, where the numbers are
unknown. Even then, some estimates
still have the U.S.-as number one when
it comes to prisoners per capita - even
ahead of the most notoriously abusive
communist regime in the world. Fur-
thermore, the only three countries in
the world with a higher number,of exe-
cutions in 2011 than the U.S. are China,
Iran and Yemen. Even Saudi Arabia - a
country under Sharia law- executes
fewer people than the U.S.Ourcriminal
justice system, on paper, should be the
brightestbeaconof freedom and democ-
racy that we have to offer, built on a
fair and balanced system of laws and a
refusal to convict the innocent. Instead,
it has been transformed into a menac-
ing, horrific monsterwillingto imprison
the poorest and weakest among us.
In the next year or two, National
Football League player Aaron Her-
nandez may go to trial for the murder
charges he currently faces, and if he
does,itwiflcertainlybe oneofthe most-
covered cases in recent memory. If,
by some chance, the man is acquitted,
save your fingers the typing - it's not
because he's famous. If anything, his
ability to afford a good lawyer, the fact
that he appears white, and weak evi-
dence - not his celebrity - is what may
acquit him. A football player getting off
on murder isn't the crux of what's wrong
with criminal justice in the U.S., despite
what your aunt says on Facebook. The
real problem is, well, everything else.
-James Brennan can be reached
at jmbthree tbumich.educ

THE SUMMER IS
STILL YOUNG!
AND THERE'S STILL ART
TO BE COVERED.
Email arts@michigandaily.com'
to request an application to Daily Arts.

01' Dirty Maste of a1Es
Reflecting on
'Tears for O'D.B.'

With the current tipping fee,
about 20 percent of the solid
waste disposed of in Michigan
landfills last year came from
out of state. Since it's so low to
begin with, raising the tipping
fee would likely increase the
amount of revenue the state
gets while simultaneously act-
ing as a disincentive for other
states (or countries) to cart
their trash all the way to Mich-
igan for disposal. This would
not only lengthen the life of
Michigan's existing landfills,
but could also encourage other
state governments - includ-
ing our own - to consider pro-
grams that would reduce the
amount of trash produced in
the first place and in the future.
One way to do this would be

to expand the bottle deposit
program. Currently, there are
no deposits on disposable water
bottles and other beverage con-
tainers - such as energy drinks
and Arizona iced tea cans -
that are as large or larger than
the 12oz cans and 20oz bottles
that currently have deposits.
Seeing as Americans consume
about 38 billion disposable
water bottles each year and
only 38.6 percent of disposable
water bottles were recycled in
the U.S. in 2011, such a measure
is sorely needed. Additionally,
the state should encourage cit-
ies and local governments to
provide recycling receptacles
for public use alongside trash
receptacles, akin to the ones
found on campus in the Diag

and elsewhere. Placing recy-
cling cans next to trashcans
makes recycling incredibly
easy. The state could also con-
sider incentivizing businesses
- particularly those that sell
canned beverages - to provide
recycling containers for their
customers' use.
Allowing trash to be import-
ed into Michigan puts the
quality of one of this state's
greatest assets - its environ-
ment - at risk. By raising the
tipping fee for garbage, offer-
ing a deposit for a larger vari-
ety of drink containers and
making recycling receptacles
more commonly available, the
state would both make money
and lessen the need for more
landfills in the long run.

J. C
Wh(
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virtue
merits
again
and m
roughl
attenti
greate
that c(
Born S
honest
more t
into R
time w
01'.
Person
suited
Kenne
see th
When
ruckus
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note
ruckus
so don

By JOHN LYNCH are proof enough that it's okay to
ManagingArts Editor be Jermaine.
Wu-Tang is for the children,
Ole, and do you also judge people
by their favorite Clan member?
en you let "Tears for ODB" Personally, I'd rather my son
questioned your voice and or daughter be a GZA, though
as always and debated the I could learn to enjoy the rabid
of your title. I heard you singularity of an O.D.B. sans
approximating Tupac - drugs. Then again, what O.D.B.
issing Tupac - with your would there be without drugs?
ly earnest form, already And what would art be without
ve to the "latest and the drug of confidence? Maybe
st" and "hip-hop prestige" true artists must die young
ould come back soon with with their vigor burning in a
inner (and did). But to be downward-spiraling flame.
, the song didn't do much Now, show me an album opener
han compel me to dig back that tops one of Ason Unique's
ussell Jones for the first and I'll show you a recent Wayne
ith old ears. song that doesn't mention beating
Dirty Monster of Twisting up a pussy. Return To The 36
is and Hysteria would have Chambers begins with an Oscar-
Russell better, but Jack worthy soliloquy - a nearly-five-
dy and M.L.K. and I can minute act that gave him and his
e clout in three initials. crackling intonations of mayhem
you have a chance, note the their first proper introduction.
he followed with on track On "Recognize," the Bastard's
f Enter the Wu-Tang. Then enthusiasm manages to eclipse
that you can't resurrect that of guest Chris Rock, turning
from a fabricated grave, The Neptunes' production into a
't try. Your first week sales podium for his everlasting schizo

shouts.
Look at the manic face on
the food coupo ID cover of
his debut album. Here Jones
began the shortened process of
documenting his troubled fury
and mastering his profane and
comic art - stimulating minds
on "Raw Hide" and acting as
the doped tour-guide of the
"Brooklyn Zoo" in his mind. Then
look at how he stands on the front
of Nigga Please like a potbellied
Rick James returned from a
wilderness trip with no razor,
staring stoically at the sky and
awaiting a tractor beam to take
him back to his planet.
I bet he's back there now, join-
ing Van Gogh and Hendrix and
Kerouac to chase fleeting, spon-
taneous visions in a boundless
arena. Meanwhile, I sit here writ-
ing to you about your tears. "Good
Morning, Heartache" is the one
that really gets to me. There may
never be a purer incarnation of
tortured soul.
Best,
A Lamenting Critic

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