In the UK we’ve looked down on America’s criminal justice system as an underfunded joke for a long time, but once someone is on trial, he or she probably gets a fairer crack of the whip. Evidence rules are tighter in the US, so juries can’t usually know about previous convictions or hearsay evidence, and the defendant can challenge jury members if they may be prejudiced. Of course the US public defender system is completely underfunded, but as legal cuts really bite, in 2014 can we say that we are much better? At least the barbarism of the death penalty has been avoided in the UK, but as whole life sentences become more prevalent, are we inching closer to the US year by year? We hope to start a conversation with this infographic about our justice system, and about whether its evolution is actually a decline.
Joseph is a director of Mary Monson Solicitor