Foundational for public trust in the American legal system to stand is the acceptance of occasional Type II errors as a necessary concession to avoid Type I errors. A Type I error occurs when an innocent party is found guilty on account of a misreading–or blatant rejection–of the evidence. A Type II error is when a guilty party is found not guilty due to the lack of evidence indicating guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Type II errors are bad. Over time, their accumulation erodes trust in the efficacy of the entire system (see Hillary Clinton’s career). But better one hundred guilty men walk free than one innocent man die! And plea deals offer a workaround compromise that allow for violent gangbangers to be pulled off the streets on easily proven charges of things like drug or weapons possession.
While Type II errors are a necessary evil, Type I errors are fatal for that trust. Forget the disclaimers about not rendering legal opinions, James Fields obviously did not premeditate Heather Heyer’s death. The message sent by a man being put away for the rest of his life–one that very probably will be snuffed out long before its natural end–on a charge he is clearly innocent of should not be lost on anyone reading this. First it was social standing, then it was livelihood, now it is life itself one must be prepared to forfeit as the price of dissidence.
In revealing this putatively fundamental precept to be disposable when the answers to Who? Whom? are right, the system is giving the game away. It is assuming–almost certainly correctly–there will be no popular objection to this legal farce. You’re not sympathetic to that mouth-breathing loser, are you? You don’t want to be the next Fields, do you?
Events open and accessible to the general public are fraught with peril. Any sort of resistance, no matter the level of provocation, puts those who offer it in extreme legal jeopardy. To avoid the Fields’ treatment, those who participate have to be willing to take one for the team–no fighting back, just endurance of the abuse no matter its severity. It’s also imperative that those participating move together in large groups and that multiple members of said large groups be recording events on video at all times, without exception.