There are at least three reasons why I thank my lucky stars I don’t live in America. First, the politics.  It’s clear that the country is not being run by the senile Joe Biden or the featherweight Kamala Harris, so problem number one is identifying exactly who IS running America? The second reason is the American healthcare system which is ruinously expensive and has led to Americans being the most medicated society on earth. It’s not doing them any favours as their life expectancy is falling faster than other developed nations. But it’s the third reason that’s the clincher. I’m talking about the biggest oxymoron of all, the American justice system. It has a conviction rate that makes the regimes in North Korea and Iran seem liberal.

Last year, there were 71,954 defendants in federal criminal cases. How many of those cases came to trial? Just 2.3%, or 1,669 cases. And how many of those defendants that went to trial were acquitted? Just 0.4%, a mere 290 people. Maths was never my strong suit, but I make that a conviction rate of 99.6%. How do you fancy those odds? That’s a slight exaggeration, because 8.2% of defendants had their case dismissed at some point in the judicial process, according to the data from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. That still means that around 90% of defendants plead guilty to something rather than risk the expense and almost certain risk of defeat if they insist on a trial.

Elsewhere in our culture, for example on social media, we’ve seen the inversion of natural justice and its quaintly old-fashioned assumption that you are innocent until proven guilty. As Cliff Richard and Paul Gambaccini will tell you, all it takes is the accusation. No evidence is needed. The police do not need to step out of their rainbow wrapped squad cars, and it doesn’t need to go near a court of law. Once accused, you are declared guilty, cancelled and airbrushed from history. I’d often wondered where this denial of the most basic of human rights could have begun. It’s clear that it originates from the US justice system, where once you are charged with a felony or misdemeanour, there is no Get Out Of Jail Free card, no prospect of a fair trial and no going back to your former life.

All that lies ahead of you is a sordid back room deal called a Plea Bargain where you plead guilty to one of the ridiculously long string of charges they’ve cooked up in return for a lesser sentence. You may even manage to avoid the stripey jump suit if your lawyer is a good negotiator. But the criminal record will stick with you forever. Federal prosecutors have unlimited funds available to investigate crimes. This is one reason many legal analysts suspect that the conviction rate at the federal level is so high. It may also be why there’s been a 60% decline in the number of cases proceeding to trial during the past two decades.

So what types of crime are we talking about here? 80% of it fits into four categories – perhaps not surprisingly, 31% are drug related crimes, 25% are concerned with illegal immigration, 16% to do with firearms and 11% are connected with property. All fairly predictable given what we know about America, its opioid addiction, its porous Southern border and its love of gun ownership. But this year this broken system has plumbed new depths with its political weaponization against former President Donald Trump. Joe Biden has joined an illustrious group of world leaders who have moved heaven and earth to imprison their main political opponents. Chairman Mao, Kim Jong Un, Idi Amin, Joseph Stalin among other leading democrats through the ages. Whatever your politics, whatever you think of Trump, surely the double standards evident in the US justice system give you cause for concern?

There is mounting evidence that Hunter Biden was paid millions from sources in Ukraine and China, and that the evidence from his laptop was suppressed ahead of the 2020 election just as the now disproved Russian links to Trump were being given maximum exposure in the compliant media. We now know that the Big Man, aka Joe Biden, took part in at least 20 phone calls with Hunter’s business contacts. I am sure we all believe him when he says he only talked about the weather. You know what? That’s probably true. All Hunter had to prove was that he had access to the (then) Vice President which meant that he could deliver on any promises or threats that were linked to those multi-million payments. Strong evidence of corruption and a threat to national security going all the way to the White House, and the outcome is a sweetheart deal to slap Hunter on the wrist and keep him out of jail. Not even a sniff of an enquiry into the Big Man whose net worth seems to have increased many fold in the last decade or so. Nothing to see here!

The U.S. Justice Department indicted Trump earlier this year on not one, not two but 37 counts relating to seven criminal charges: wilful retention of national defence information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, withholding a document or record, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations. Of course, these documents are far more secret and far more important than those that were found in the garage where Big Joe keeps his very nice classic Corvette. This is just one of the many cases being brought against the Republican front runner in the 2024 election, with one of the trial dates being set for next March to deliberately interfere with the Super Tuesday primaries.

Trump’s case is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, where acquittal rates look similar to the national average. In the whole of 2022, only 12 of the 1,944 total defendants in the Southern District of Florida – that’s a massive 0.6% – were acquitted at trial. As we’ve seen in the nationwide numbers, 86.2% of defendants in Florida’s Southern District pleaded guilty while 10.7% had their cases dismissed. There are not too many ex-Presidents who get charged with these kind of offences so comparables are hard to come by. It’s clear from the practised scowl on Trump’s mugshot that he’s going to milk this victimhood as much as he can, but I tend to agree with conservative commentator Dan Bongino that he has missed a trick. If he really wanted to show the world just how farcical this is becoming, he should have refused to pay the $200,000 bail and let them put him behind bars. Better still, he should have arrived at the jailhouse dressed in a kangaroo outfit to reflect the status of the court.

There are so many questions remaining around an election that is just over a year away. The Democrats surely cannot intend Biden to run again. He can barely walk. And no one is suggesting that Kamala Harris is right for the top job. One of the front runners seems to be Gavin Newsome, governor of the Wokest state of all, California. If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a six gun in your hand. The other likely candidate plays to America’s love of family dynasties to make up for the lack of a royal family, and that’s Michele Obama. If there’s doubt surrounding the Democrat team, it seems like the treatment of Donald Trump by a corrupt justice system is only cementing the certainty of him being the Republican nominee.  In the recent candidates debate he was the elephant not in the room as he chose instead to air his interview with Tucker Carlson at exactly the same time. His lead in the polls is so high that even Ron De Santis is looking like a spent force on the national stage.

The $64,000 question is, will Trump be on the campaign trail at all or will he be behind bars? His former Vice President Mike Pence used the televised debate to recycle Ronald Reagan quotes about America being a shining city on a hill. That seems like a long time ago to me. With its size, its natural resources and its remarkably resilient economy, it would be premature to write America off as a busted flush. But there is clear evidence of massive damage being done in the last three years. Homelessness has reached epidemic proportions, as has drug abuse and suicides. Five million illegal immigrants a year put the problem of our small boats in perspective, while the level of government spending and its impact on the national debt have brought financial Armageddon much closer in a single presidential term. But, when I look at America today, the biggest issue is none of these things. You cannot claim to be the global leader of Western democracies while operating such a clearly corrupt, unfair and unconstitutional legal system. The Department of Justice is unfit for purpose and needs to be put out of its misery. If Trump makes it to a second term, building a fairer legal system for all Americans should be near the top of his 90 day priority list.