Professor Gillian Hadfield, of USC Law School, holds that our current legal system is being badly outstripped by the development of new technologies and practices. She suggests that the system not only needs overhauling, but should perhaps be replaced with one streamlined for the rapid changes and needs of the 21st Century.
Crime reports are written in neutral diction, and in the dispassionate uni-voice that’s testament to the academy’s ability to standardize writing. They feel generated rather than authored, the work of a single law enforcement consciousness rather than a specific human being.
So how can I identify Martinez from a single sentence? Why do his reports make me feel pity, terror, or despair? Make me want to put a bullet in someone’s brain—preferably a wife beater’s or a pedophile’s, but occasionally my own? How does he use words on paper to hammer at my heart? Like all great cops, Sergeant Martinez is a sneaky fucker.