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The U. S. criminal justice system has undergone radical changes in the past generation. Crime is more complex; prosecutors are more powerful; and courts, corrections agencies, and defense services are burdened with larger case loads and tighter budgets. It is not the best of times to talk about justice. Yet, it is a subject that needs to be constantly addressed, particularly in times of crisis. The following essay focuses on some of the problems that present themselves in the criminal justice system today, including the conviction of innocent defendants, especially in capital cases; racial prejudice; and lawyer incompetence.