It is time we look at revising the laws to take into consideration forensic and other technology in determining a standard of "irrefutable guilt" in federal cases. Currently, even in cases where it is absolutely clear that an accused is guilty, the taxpayer still has to pay the considerable legal expenses of a trial so the accused can go through the sham of trying to prove they are innocent or more likely there was some technicality. The law should be changed to empower a grand jury to determine when a case meets a standard of "irrefutable evidence of guilt" either through forensics, video or some other technical means. In such a case, the jury would hand the case to the judge who would confirm the decision and there would be no trial to determine guilt. The individual charged would be declared guilty. However, there would still be a trial and they would "face their accusers" in the sentencing phase (at which point all the mitigating circumstances or technicalities could be raised). We waste millions of dollars every year providing defense attorneys for individuals who are clearly guilty (either through clear video showing them shooting someone, dna evidence properly collected, etc) and sadly many get off or plead guilty to a lesser charge. Yes, this would be a change, but only slightly. Changing the laws would save the taxpayers millions since there would no longer be a need for a long expensive trial to prove guilt or innocence in these cases while still protecting the accused rights in the sentencing trial.
Idea No. 769