After 30 years of battling for individuals and small businesses against the government in the trenches of the criminal justice system, I decided that was enough. It was time for a book to be written. How did the USA, with just 3% of the world’s population, end up with 25% of the world’s prisoners? How can we have more people in jails who claim to be sexual assault victims than the total jail population of the continent of Australia? I hope you care enough about our situation in the United States to read this book– and find out why, and possibly help.
Can you imagine if Nancy Grace ruled the world? Buy stock in orange dye! Yet there is a little Nancy Grace in all of us, particularly in our state legislatures and Congress. It’s that self-righteous piece of us that wants to see our neighbors knocked down a peg, our enemies punished, and lock up behind bars those whom we deem bad.
I was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. As a youth, I played sports, and was busy with scouting (Eagle Scout) and church activities. I am a big baseball and hockey fan (Pittsburgh) and football fan (Packers).
However I wasn’t a model child. I made my parents crazy in High School by starting an underground newspaper that alienated everyone in authority at the school and ended up getting me booted off of National Honor Society.
I attended Allegheny College and earned a B.S. Degree in Economics and History. I then attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and earned a J.D. in 1984. I was admitted to practice law that year in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. About half of my practice is criminal defense. The cases range from disorderly conduct to attempted murder, from DUI and retail theft to Homicide by vehicle and Child Pornography. As a private lawyer with significant experience, I charge substantial fees for my service, but I sometimes charge based upon ability to pay and I do pro bono cases several times per year.
My favorite Lawyers are F.Lee Bailey, Alan Dershowitz and especially, Gerry Spence. Least favorite lawyers: Nancy Grace and Bill Clinton (I’m apparently not alone as he has been disbarred in 2 states). I have tried over 150 cases before juries in my career. In 2014 I had four jury trials, all resulting in acquittals.
My background has always involved competition. I have entered (and won) national writing contests. I played many sports but settled on golf as my favorite. In college I earned All-American status at the Division III National Tournament as a senior. I still compete in golf and writing and most of all in the courtroom. Being highly competitive, I also need some relaxation time and I enjoy vacationing in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, where the pace of life is slow, the rum is cheap, and it’s nearly impossible to find a tight-ass. I hope to retire there some day, but I feel there is more work to be done first.
I was asked to serve on President George W. Bush’s National Republican Congressional Committee as co-chairman of Business Advisory Council, after which I immediately quit the Republican Party and became a libertarian. I cannot reconcile the Republican platform denouncing (in theory) big government with their social policies of warmongering and government intermeddling with individual liberties, among them being the “tough on crime” party. At the same time, I could never tolerate the liberal democratic platform of using the power of government to shove its agenda down our throats, including their destructive goal to redistribute wealth by force. Both parties are shameful, and the results show it. Democracy in its late stages becomes ugly. My book is written from the perspective of a Libertarian who believes that government force and power should be used with restraint, whether that be in economic and business matters or in the criminal justice system.
Unfortunately, self-righteous politicians have criminalized nearly every act that might offend a Sunday school teacher. They have dictated mandatory sentences that look good on paper but pervert the criminal justice system and usurp the Judiciary. The result is that we have 756 per 100,000 people in jail compared to the world average of 153, plus over 4 million people under the watchful eyes of government probation and parole agents.
–Jack W. Cline