Lew Rockwell


Lew Rockwell, founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, discusses his article “The Police State Abolishes the Trial” about the disappearance of jury trials in federal courts; the sub-1% acquittal rate for the few defendants who actually do go to trial; how prison sentences ruin lives and careers (unless you prefer working at the Waffle House); how mandatory minimum sentencing took away judicial discretion and helped the US achieve the world’s largest prison population; why jury service usually amounts to twelve people doing the prosecution’s bidding; and why “privatized” prisons are not triumphs of free market capitalism.

MP3 here. (20:00)

Lew Rockwell is the founder and Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, Vice President of the Center for Libertarian Studies in Burlingame, California, and publisher of the political Web site LewRockwell.com. He is the author of The Left, The Right and The State and served as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff between 1978 and 1982. Check out his podcast show here.

18 thoughts on “Lew Rockwell”

  1. Scott,

    Thanks for interviewing Lew on the topic of jury trials. I also found the article one of his best and important- I would keep it in a short list of favorites. I have volunteered in prisons for ministry work, and was able to see for myself, the real world of how it works with the JCOs and the inmates.

    We need to find ways to live outside the wide net with the tight mesh- as was described on the old tv show 24.

    Meanwhile I am actively working on a project to help showcase Ron Paul voters and get in touch with people who need to know he is a viable option for 2012. Ohio Straw is in October. $25/ticket.

    In Liberty,

    Mark Watson

  2. Talking about Federal court, Lew Rockwell's article says ".Among those that go to trial, the defendant wins once in every 212 times." Which is incredibly striking, I would like to know where I can confirm this number.

  3. This was a superb interview. It really opened my eyes. I thought it was just the prison system that was fucked up. Now I see that the judicial system is just as bad. I used to correspond with a prisoner in the Florida State pen back in the 90's. He happened to be one of the witnesses to the murder of a prisoner by the guards. I was writing letters by the hour to Florida legislators, newspapers, prison officials etc. We barely got him out alive. Needless to say the charges were dropped on the murder. He was moved to another state where the word was sent ahead of him to give him a rough time, and it went on for some time after that. His original sentence back in the 80's was highly questionable too, but I won't go into that. The truth is that Amnesty International does not even have enough staff and volunteer people to take all the cases in the American prison system that should be addressed.

  4. The US has 7 times the per capital rate of incarcerated human beings than that of the EU, China or Cuba. No country comes close – we are the best!

    And all in the name of good business opportunities. The prison guys must do a lot of promotion in the courts in order to get more business. But wouldn´t – shouldn´t that be illegal? I believe they are a monopoly business and therefor, for the good of society, should be restricted to a maximum 10% profit just like the utilities use to be when they were monopolies. No?

    That was an excellent and interesting interview.

  5. Q: What's worse than a govt monopoly?

    A: A private monopoly.

    BTW, "private garbage collection is a lot higher cost & less efficient than public garbage college. I live in an exurban area and I see 2-3 (or more) garbage trucks per week, from diff corps, wasting all that fuel, trucks, labor, etc. In this location, garbage collection, efficiently performed, would be a natural monopoly.

      1. Where I live you can use the town service for $4 a barrel or private for $6-8…. I used a local private contractor to remove the shingles when I installed a new roof… I called them and asked them to come 4 days later, I thought it was a safe bet I'd have it done then… Four days later, no dumpster, so I loaded them in my truck and took them to the waste station myself.. Eight weeks later I look at my credit card and see that I was charged $60.00 a week for eight weeks.. Never got it back… So two barrels of shingles cost me $500.00 Gotta love free enterprize, espercially Mafia Garbage operations…. Whattaya thinkin, Mikey Boy…

    1. "private garbage collection is a lot higher cost"

      I think I gotta call a Bull*&^% on that statement. That is not generally true even factoring in the monopoly part of it. Maybe in Trenton, New Jersey and the like (where the mob takes the place of the government union mob), TRUE, but other places, NOT TRUE.

  6. Federal courts are increasingly statist and authoritarian. They're dangerous. Many judges are former "Justice" Department hacks and Federalist Society extremists.

    I believe in jury nullification. If a jury disagrees with a law under which somebody's being prosecuted, they should acquit the defendant.

    Best regards to Rockwell.

  7. It is a horrible situation. Actually, no, I don't want the government to be efficient at imprisoning prisons. Prisons-for-profit are an abomination and a perversion is government's performance of natural duties.

    As far as juries go, when people are given a choice between being intransigent and hard core, they run away with it, it's the only opportunity for them to display power, and they do it, with vengeance. Many people have this idea that if someone was arrested, he was in the wrong, and if laws exist, they must be good laws because wise men passed these laws.

    Recently, it was implemented in Massachusetts, that if a motorist is stopped by the police, an automatic fee of $70 will be applied, guilty or not. How can anyone support such injustice?
    This is just one example. All you have to do is scratch the surface and the injustice of the US legal system oozes out like the puss out of a festering wound. Actually, the system feels so strong, that injustice is no hidden, but it is in plain view for the whole world to see.

    Naturally, you might ask yourself what can be done about it. You might withhold your tax money at all levels, you might want to clog the system as best you can, and take concerted action in exposing injustice to those too blind to see.

  8. reading these comments, I get why and how the ELITE get to rule you with their few dogs and bears and what not!!

    I’ll be expecting US Legal strike via a drone soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.