"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
We've all learned that our government consists of three distinct branches.
And while we seem to hear something about Congress or the Office of the President every day, our court systems are often overlooked and taken for granted.
That's alarming, because our society's adherence to the rule of law, and the impartial, efficient administration of that rule, are critical to how we live with each other.
Unfortunately, North Carolina ranks near the bottom in state spending on the judicial branch.
We're still using 19th century paper-based correspondence rather than modern computer technology.
Our courts are woefully understaffed, both in available judges and administrators.
This all leads to long waits and unsatisfactory compromises in bringing both criminal and civil issues to trial.
And we all suffer for that.
So, what can be done?
Well, judges are not in a position to lobby with our legislators, and attempts by lawyers have fallen on deaf ears.
So it's up to us.
We encourage you to remind your representatives just how vital our court system is.
That you demand speedier adjudication…and THAT requires a legislature to open the purse strings to adequately fund our courts.
For more information on how you can help, contact a local non-profit support group for the court system at Justice Initiatives dot com.