The System Has Failed
2004 | Metal
Spotify | Amazon
"Justice means nothing today. — Now that the jury's for sale. — Guilty or not, the verdict's a lie. — You're going to jail. — The system has failed!"
- The album hit #18 on the Billboard 200 chart.
- The album cover appears to feature The Clintons & George W amongst other politicians of the era.
- The System Has failed was originally intended to be a solo album but was rebranded due to a contractual obligation.
- Kick The Chair was released as a free promotional song on the bands website.
THE HOT TAKES
The "justice system" is anything but just, and this is Megadeth driving that point home with a sledgehammer. "Pick a crime from the menu, pick a sentence and defend you, and pick up the down payment called bail! The system's for sale!" For my own experience, the inhumane nature of the prison system is harrowing. A brief story that will be with me until my death: Once, a friend of mine was arrested for a DUI. It was his third, as he frequently drank to deal with PTSD he got from his time in the Army. I paid his bail, and the during the incredibly long wait for him to be released I had the chilling experience of sitting in the waiting room at the county jail. On a pedestal in the center of the room was an antique electric chair. I felt a spiritual revulsion that forever changed my perception of the evil system we live under. "No victim, no crime" is a start, but my goal is humane treatment of human beings.
This hard hitting thrash tune brings up an issue that is very relevant and one of the most pressing issues concerning millions of people's freedom, the injustice of the criminal justice system. With its monopoly on violence and the law,The State creates a conflict of interest that, means that the individual caught in the many traps of the system, is at a huge disadvantage. One of the terrible elements of the system is bail. This practice puts those who can’t pay at terrible disadvantage. Sometimes people who haven’t been convicted of anything, spend years waiting on their cases to be heard in court. Staying in jail not only makes it more likely that they will lose their case, it makes those who depend on them in their families and jobs don’t have the support of this person for however long they remain before trial. The alternative to staying in jail is getting a bail bondsman that they may borrow the money from and then spend years afterwards paying off, even if they are never convicted. For the poor, even a small infraction could lead to years of stress and turmoil and a insurmountable downward spiral in a person's life. The bond system as it is should be eliminated, or extremely reformed. Anything short of radical reformation of the bail system means we should either “kick the chair” on them or ourselves.
I always love when music I really enjoy has something to say worth saying, Mustaine rarely fails to deliver on this. This will definitely not be the last time Megadeth appears on this list but let’s talk about this one now. I suppose a good place to start is with old white dudes literally selling young black men into incarceration for kickbacks in Philadelphia. Perhaps we could talk about the three felonies a day we all commit according to Harvey Silverglate simply because there’s so many laws on the books. Now god forbid you’re poor and picked up on one of these “crimes,” you’ll be appointed a lawyer who has more reason to talk you into a plea because the likelihood of you winning is insignificant against the state, that entity with an endless piggy bank supplied to it by your tax money. I know you’re asking why do you need the lawyer at all? Well this really neat thing happened where lawyers with a vested interest in making more money were incentivized to make the legal system so complicated that you couldn’t navigate it without them. Now this wasn’t entirely their idea they were paid for their ideas by wealthy individuals who wanted to protect their wealth like anyone else. They took their means had lawyers write protective laws, gave them to politicians so they could weild the power they have in exchange for a kickback come campaign season. But the same competition that drove the individual in the company to take the actions he did is the same competition to drive the politician to create his own law to consolidate his power to ensure those business dollars come his way again...But I digress. Giving anyone power creates the setting we have where the law is whatever the person with the most money to tempt power dictates it to be. I think you get the picture.
Interested in Harvey’s Book?