Mike Chase, criminal defense attorney and @CrimeADay twitter account founder, addresses the American public’s perception of the judicial system. Chase attributes bias towards the legal system as a matter of perspective, as he differentiates between the views of participants and onlookers. Many a time, the public will look to a sentencing as a means of sending criminals to jail, away from the public. Whereas those being sentenced see the individual holes in the system.
Mike addresses the prohibitive cost factor of obtaining legal counsel. Due to the caseload many attorneys carry, their time becomes more valuable than average citizens can afford. This gives way to an unbalanced advantage in favor of the wealthy.
Chase addresses the challenges certain state governments are facing with the legalization of marijuana in many states. “If there was commutation of marijuana related convictions, it would also have to take into account all the people that have served decades longer than they would have otherwise, if marijuana had not been an illicit substance.” -Mike Chase
Chase believes one of the greatest benefits of decriminalizing marijuana would be the amount of time given to public defendants to work on more significant cases. Within the perceived gridlock of the legal system, lie thousands of possession arrests. Mike believes that the judicial system would be more effective if the public defendant’s time was spent elsewhere.
Our massive incarceration statistics show a steady rate of recidivism. Circumstances such as age, family, and skill level are great determents of whether one will enter back into the prison system after being released. Chase sees the private sector as a way to mute this trend. Efforts such as “Ban the Box” and businesses specializing in the hiring of felons, allow released convicts to reintegrate into the community.
Mike Chase has taken a humorous, yet serious approach to informing the public of many laws unknown to most. His @CrimeADay Twitter account does just this. One example he gives is the federally mandated way to correctly mail live scorpions. Chase sites 300,000 of such laws on the books. Although he states that following all 300,000 laws on the books is impossible, Chase prides himself on bringing light to the masses.