The defense for this argument is clarified

The legal system that
governs us has, at large, filled its purpose by providing order and justice in
most cases which required legal dutifulness. However, on the premises of bringing
about social change, the system has not demonstrated any such changes society. The
defense for this argument is clarified by Clarence Darrow, an American lawyer,
who contends that the law applies to and supports particular kinds of social
classes. Robert Cover, a law professor, talks about how sentences from judges
may foil their purpose. Karla Fischer and her companions, alongside Jackie
Campbell’s “Walking the Beat Alone,” show how law has objectives to
serve society, yet don’t supply social change and in certainty obstruct its advancement.
The film Eyes on the Prize depicted the African American endeavors in defying
the law to make a statement. Finally, in Tom Tyler’s written work, Why People
Obey the Law, he talks about laws that individuals don’t obey in light of the
fact that it is a law. The legal system’s part is thought to bring social change,
but the system is organized to support certain categories of individuals and usually,
a lot of time, statutes and legal choices have counteracted their intentions and
were unsuccessful in making changes in the society.

          In
Clarence Darrow’s Address to the Prisoners in the Cook County Jail, he talks
about the explanations behind individuals being and correctional facilities and
crime. Darrow believes that individuals are in prison since they are poor
(Darrow 227). He conceives that the legal system supports those that are wealthy(Darrow
229). If there were less people whom are
poor, there would be less crime. If it were easier for people to obtain wealth,
there would be less crime. The legal system is structured so that those without
money are unable to obey the law. He does not believe our system provides
justice, but more or less just provides protection for people with money (Darrow
229). Be it that the law is supposed to spark social change, Darrow’s argument
shows that the legal system leaves no room for social change and the only way
change in society would occur is if wealth was distributed evenly, relieving
the pressure of poor citizens to commit crime. However, as it is, the legal
system is in place and there are further examples and reasons to prove that it
does not provide social change.

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          In
author Robert Cover’s, The Violence of Legal Acts, legal decisions are under
the spotlight in terms of their effects. Cover explains that the process with
which a defendant goes through is in itself fairly violent (Cover 222). Sure,
punishments bring justice to crimes. However, in terms of social change, the
law is just offsetting its purpose. One could argue that by punishing criminals
for violent crimes, is changing society. It is not changing society, it is just
putting criminals in jail and ignoring the reasons they did what they did.
Instead of attempting to prevent their crimes, our legal system just puts the
criminals in jails. Michael McCann writes, “Legal relations, institutions, and
norms tend to be double edged, at once, upholding the larger infrastructure of
the status quo while providing many opportunities for episodic challenges and
transformations in that ruling order. (McCann 502-22)” Robert Cover’s argument
can be applied to this because since legal punishments can often be
counteractive, it provides, “many opportunities for episodic challenges…(McCann
502-22)”” Instead of fixing the deeper problems within society, the legal
system simply just provides justice to each individual case. In more specific
examples, the failure of laws role in social change is presented.

          Statutes
are written to provide order and justice for society. However, as previously
argued this system of laws does not necessarily result in social change due to
its inequalities and varied intentions. Karla Fischer, Neil Vidmar and Rene
Ellis wrote a piece entitled, The Culture of Battering and the Role of Mediation
in Domestic Violence Cases, which presents the debates regarding the order of
mediation for those in an abusive relationship. The authors argue against
mediation for several reasons. Mediation seems like a practical alternative and
solution for domestic abuse like cases and has occasionally produced positive
feedback (Fischer 506). However, in many cases, mediation does not help the
relationship or couple (Fischer 512). Often times the abuse does not refrain,
and can even increase. Many times the best thing for a couple to work things
out is to seek outside help that is not ordered by the court. By ordering
mediation, it is the easy way out for our courts to handle and put away another
one of their problems. Once again, the legal system in place does not always
help create social change. Not always is mediation appropriate for these cases,
and due to some of the mandatory mediation laws in different states, the system
hurts some of these people. 

          In
a similarly themed example, Jackie Campbell’s, Walking the Beat Alone, also
presents another example how the law does not help societal change, and can
even hurt it. Jackie Campbell cites different situations in her career where
she experienced racial profiling and discrimination amongst cops in urban areas
(Campbell 279). Campbell discusses the differences in a traffic stop in a city
and in the suburbs. Jackie Campbell’s experiences show how law can counteract
its purpose. The laws are in place for the police officers to enforce and
protect the public. However, there is a line that Campbell explains was often
crossed in the city with racial discrimination. Discrimination and differential
treatment against African Americans is not a step in the right direction to
attain social change. One could look at this in the perspective that things
would never change in terms of white people’s relationship with African
Americans. Though segregation is absent from our legal system, racial
stereotypes still remain and the power bestowed in our legal authority prevent
changes in society. Arguments against this are valid, in terms of statistical
proof that crime is more often committed by minorities. Conversely, a rebuttal
as explained earlier would explain that the laws are written in favor of the
rich, and those that own the country. Until this legal system is changed,
progress will struggle since the legal system often neutralizes its ability to
create changes in society.

          In
line with the argument that law often counteracts itself, Tom Tyler’s article,
Why Do People Obey the Law, addresses the reasons and motivations behind
people’s decisions. He writes about different laws and reports what kind of
laws people break. Generally, people are more likely to report committing
crimes that are not that serious, such as speeding or parking illegally (Tyler
481). Laws like speeding are in place to create safety. This could be connected
to an effort at making social change. Speeding laws often fail to work because
it is not a very serious crime, and more people are likely to break them. It is
as if these less serious laws are broken simply because they are laws. For
example, underage drinking is large problem. The drinking age is 21 for several
reasons. These reasons are suppose to make the world a better place to live in.
If it is suppose to make the world a better place than why are so many kids
underage still drinking? Like the speeding argument, since it is a law, people
are more likely to break it. Many underage kids think that since it is against
the law, drinking is more exciting since there is a risk involved. So while the
legal system intends to improve society and promote social change with laws
like these, it is not working completely. On the same broad spectrum, the film
Eyes on the Prize, which covers the civil rights movement, showed the African
Americans efforts and lack of fear for getting arrested. By breaking the laws
and getting arrested, they intended to send a message to the white people
suggesting that they felt they were being treated unfairly. The laws in place
were like a barrier for the African American people and prevented social
change. Over and over again, laws in place have proven to prevent changes in
society and prove.

          Though
the structure of our government’s legal system is quite reliable and effective,
to say that its approach will bring changes in society is false. Clarence
Darrow presents an argument suggesting that laws are written in favor of the
rich. If there were less poor people in the world there would be less crime
because wealth motives those without it to commit crimes that protect the rich.
Robert Cover writes that judges decisions which intend to bring justice may be
violent in themselves, and that putting criminals in jail may just be a way to
rid away the problem temporarily. Instead of getting to the root of societal
problems, putting criminals in jail is just a way to ignore the problem instead
of fix it. Karla Fischer suggests that perhaps the legal systems role in
issuing mediations to domestic violence cases is the wrong thing to do and that
the courts should stay out of certain cases due to repercussions to some of the
victims. Similarly, laws purpose is abused which prevents social changes in the
Jackie Campbell article due to the racial discrimination she describes. Lastly,
Tom Tyler and the film Eyes on the Prize show how sometimes laws are commonly
broken on purpose even though they were intended to make the world a better or
safer place and improve society. To say that the legal system is corrupted is
not fair, yet it also is not valid to say that the legal system in place is
perfect and promotes social change.