Thursday, September 11, 2008

Justice?

I went to bed last night having checked a few websites including the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.

This morning I woke up and turned on the TV in the bedroom to see some news.

I need to stop.


There is just too much coverage of stories that are making me sick to my stomach because of what people do to each other and what they then do to try to avoid paying any consequences for their actions. I'm not talking about an eye-for-an-eye across the board, and I am definitely not talking about cutting off the hand of a thief to prevent them from stealing again. Just consider these two headline-grabbing cases.

Back in March of 2005, Brian Nichols was on trial in Atlanta for holding his ex-girlfriend hostage for two days during which he had her bound and he sexually assaulted her. This was the beginning of a second trial on these charges as the first resulted in a hung jury. A few days before the trial was to begin, he was found in possession of two homemade knives while in jail. On the morning of the trial's beginning, he assaulted a deputy sheriff and escaped her custody. She was beaten and hospitalized with severe head trauma.

Nichols then took her firearm and worked his way through the courthouse to the courtroom of his trial where he shot and killed the judge and the court reporter. Continuing his escape, he shot and killed another deputy sheriff and escaped the courthouse, stealing a number of vehicles at gunpoint. He proceeded to flee the downtown area, eventually stealing a car belonging to an off-duty United States Customs Agent (a federal officer) who Nichols shot and killed in order to secure the car.

The case made national headlines. A few days later he was taken into custody in neighboring Gwinnett County where he surrendered after spending the night with a woman he also had taken hostage.

There are reports that Nichol's defense team would accept an offer for a guilty plea if the state would take the death penalty off the table. In essence, he will confess to his crimes, as long as he does not have to pay a justifiable price for his actions. Almost as bad, the prosecutor will not agree to such a deal because the penalty would not be steep enough (and I agree). However, as a result, the costs to the state financially are skyrocketing as both sides prepare for trial and the defense claims they can not afford the costs of an adequate defense.

I would think that is Mr. Nichol's issue, not the State's, but because a lawyer is provided for those who can not afford it, we are stuck with the financial burden on top of the loss society has already paid in the sum of four dead civil servants including two law enforcement officers.

The latest atrocity is that the defense team now plans to use a defense that Nichols committed these crimes because the courtroom reminded him of a slave market.

Case #2

Last month, in Orlando, FL, a young mother reported her child missing.... AFTER a month of not having seen her. The mother's story is that she gave her 2 year old daughter to a babysitter (while going to a job she did not have) and that the babysitter took the child and has not returned her.

She waited a month to make this report, which makes no sense.

Police located the mother's car in a business parking lot not far from the mother's home. In the trunk they found a suspicious stain and collected other evidence that now indicates that a human body was decomposing in this car trunk and that it was likely the body of the allegedly-kidnapped toddler.

Again, national headlines. Where is the child? Why was the mother out dancing at night clubs while her baby was missing? People are volunteering to search for the baby and are wasting their time and money because this child is already dead. The mother and her parents (who she lives with) must know the truth.

Instead of easing the hearts and minds of concerned citizens, they are hiring high profile attorneys and public relations specialists.

Today's bizarre factor. Lawyers for the child's mother want to force the state to stop processing evidence it has collected. These lawyers want to influence what kinds of tests are done and by what laboratories. At what point did a team of defense lawyers develop the power to influence the legal evidence-gathering procedures of the State?

I am glad that I will likely never face arrest or prosecution, but if I do, I imagine I could play things like these two criminals and hope to avoid paying the price for my actions, for justice is hard to serve in this day and age.

2 comments:

FRIGGA said...

That's what happens when lawyers look for loop-holes instead of justice. :(

Beverly said...

Amen.