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11.18.2003

The "Justice" System

The word justice isn't in quotes merely to express disgust. The so-called justice system - as it exists - has absolutely nothing to do with justice. It is a moniker...a warm and fuzzy description plastered to the truth like paper mache to the raw bones of a parade float.

What is actually being referred to is a system, and nothing more. In many ways, this system is like a machine, operating according to the specifications it was designed with. Actual justice is an ideal, a morality, an enforcement of consequence for a person acting on what is right or wrong. A system cannot possess this very human comprehension of what justice means. It can, at best, try to mimic it. But this is no different from a robotic pet - like Aibo or the astounding NeCoRo - no matter how much it may act like a real animal, it is far from the living truth.

Justice does not get hung up on technicality. It does not twist and stretch to try and fit a particular perspective. You do not need to convince it of what is right or wrong. It exists without needing any of that, without making excuses, and when it bares its face it is like the dawn sun driving away the dark of night. So very far removed from the wretched, creaking mockery that is the human version of it.

(In response to some people's curiosity: that is why I am not a lawyer. This system is so...impure...that the thought of entering it revolts me, like swimming in a sea of bile.)

This case, Kirstin Lobato's case, is all about the system, and has nothing to do with justice. It is the system that demanded the law pay homage to technicalities. Like slipping liars onto the stand as though they were honest citizens. Or giving more credit to a body made entirely of circumstantial evidence than to the logic of physical evidence, so that fantasy could trump reality. Or barring the illumination of facts based on something as unconnected to justice as time restraints.

Time? What does the passage of time have to do with truth, anyhow? Time restraints are part of the system to accommodate our schedules - so that cases won't drag on forever, and so that events won't occur faster than a person's ability to react to them. Those reasons help the system work, but they often override justice in court. The concern for time can make the truth too inconvenient to allow, which happened in this case.

Inconvenience. An 18-year-old faces 40 years in prison, but time made some evidence too incovenient to allow into consideration.

But like all systems, the courts follow some body of rules or regulations from which it will not depart. And now, because the tribute has already been offered to the system, it is exceedingly difficult to find a lawyer who will do her appeal for the small amount of money that can be afforded. I hear that the lawyers did everything right. And it is true, from what I read of the transcripts. One side tinkered with the system while the other casually stayed within its design, humming along with the law like some sort of courthouse lounge lizard. They did everything right by the system's dogma, like a Catholic who reflexively says their Hail Marys without giving a thought to what it means and still believes they have fulfilled their spiritual obligation.

The prosecution made their claims, that she was the lone murderer of Duran Bailey. Forensic evidence excludes her from the murder - real, hard, logical, scientific evidence - along with at least 10 alibis. And yet the prosecution apparently only needs to prove (now) that she might have been at the scene, if they are going to interfere with her appeal. She no longer has to have acted alone, meaning the evidence could have come from an accomplice - which would be the very slick explanation of why forensic evidence doesn't fit her at all. Even though laying claim to that theory would fly in the face of the prosecution's original argument, it is within the workings of the system to allow that twisted perversion. Prosecutors have claimed one "truth," and now can claim an opposite "truth" if it aids them. So sayeth the system, for it is within the Rules of the Design. They may rewrite anything they want to damn her. And I believe they would.

That is just one example. There is no justice in this system.


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