Last night at Vancouver’s Harbour Centre, former lawyer Young spoke on the themes of his new book, “Justice Defiled: Perverts, Potheads, Serial Killers and Lawyers,” after a rousing introduction by Cannabis Culture publisher Marc Emery, who explained how he met Young while defending against obscenity laws that saw Emery charged for selling banned music CD’s in 1990.
Young took the stage and launched into a scathing attack that made typical complaints about the criminal justice system seem simplistic and incomplete.
“We have criminals, we have the system, but what we don’t have is justice,” he opened.
“We should be protecting the potheads and perverts so that we can prevent serious crimes, and lawyers stand in the way of that. That’s why this book is about lawyercide – which is not a word in the dictionary, but a universal construct nonetheless. They have been hated throughout the centuries.”
Of course, he doesn’t mean that lawyers should be literally killed, but that they should lose their jobs. Young believes the justice system could be immediately scaled back by one third.
Young also explained that his book wasn’t about the exciting, misleading kind of court action portrayed on television. Instead, justice’s faults lay in the “pedestrian day-to-day goings on in court” like judges who fall asleep at the bench, play crosswords during cross-examinations and lack sensitivity to the plights of people facing decades in jail.
“Indifference and elitism are rampant in the profession,” Young complained. “I’m talking about stuff that makes me sick. I can’t sleep at night.”
According to Young, the metaphysics of systemic abuse are partly reflected in the observation that what we call “justice” is vulgar and narcissistic. No one cares whether the accused is guilty, instead they navel-gaze at irrelevant matters like the definition of sexual arousal, he said, quoting from a case where he defended a dominatrix on charges of prostitution. The dominatrix, he explained, was the opposite of a prostitute, whose job is to be submissive. The dominatrix he defended would smack erections with a riding crop and shame her customers. The court, however, only cared that her customers got erections, and convicted her.
Probably Young’s most powerful condemnation of the system was leveled at its inherent hypocrisy. He quoted from studies that showed 85% of law students puff pot, and 60% of lawyers continue to indulge in the fun smoke.
“I smoked pot with judges,” he admitted. “I smoked joints with prosecutors. How can they get up in the morning and look in the mirror when they know they are going to ruin someone’s life for that very thing. I know judges that go to prostitutes and I know judges that go to dominatrixes.”
The problem, as he saw it, was that our society caters to the pleasure of indulgence while simultaneously pointing the finger of shame and disapproval at it.
Are lawyers and judges inherently evil? Young says no. They’re just “lazy, sanctimonious and jaded.” Similarly, judges aren’t flawed characters, but because courts are jammed with morality cases against potheads and perverts, serial killers sometimes go free.