Justice, really?

I have always believed that our justice system worked. I know it isn’t perfect, but it is better than the alternative, a land where there are no laws. However, what can we do when someone we love trusts their life to the American justice system and the great judicial system fails them? Where exactly do we turn for help?

I happen to know of a person who trusted the system, and is now locked away with no hope, no lawyer, no peace, abandoned by those who were given responsibility for this soul’s future. The person did the right thing, repented for wrong doing and accepted the consequences. They were sentenced and placed in a prison. Because they could not afford an attorney one was appointed. Once the door clanged shut, they key turned in the lock, the attorney did not file an appeal for them which is a civil right of every person in the judicial system. This person is forgotten. Their spouse, family, friends, lawyer and country has abandoned them. What do we do? Do we turn a blind eye since this person is not innocent but is remorseful? They accepted the sentence, was honest and now are they worthless? Not worth the basic rights of a fair trial and appeal? Is our great judicial system so weak that it can be misused so easily? Can we see the abuse and turn a blind eye?

I can not stand here and do nothing. I can not watch a person confess, ask for forgiveness, serve the punishment, then be denied the right to representation and appeal. They are not asking for special treatment just for the judicial system to make good on the promise of fairness. They deserve due process.

I am on a mission of equality and I will do all I can to convenience the powers that be to do the right thing. Maybe my efforts will not only help one but many.

4 thoughts on “Justice, really?

  1. I am confused. (And I do mean this sincerely). If this person did something wrong and acknowledged it and pled guilty, knowing the potential consequences of doing so (including the possibility for a severe sentence) and is now serving the sentence handed out, where is the basis of appeal? Appeal processes are normally for someone who asserted their innocence and may have been wrongly convicted or deprived of due process (police abuse or misconduct). I am not questioning the need to minister to those in prison, but where is the miscarriage of justice here?

  2. Well there is a lot more to this story. The first public defender told the person they qualified for this thing called “Shock probation”. Which is basically going to prison scared them straight. The attorney said plead guilty I can get you out in 60 days with shock. Don’t go for a jury trial. AFTER the non trial, after the person says ok, I will plead guilty, and is in prison, the attorney sends a letter. The letter says after further research you can’t qualify for shock probation, so sorry, enjoy your stay. (The person did not qualify due to a firearm being used.) The point is they trusted the system, trusted the public defended and there you go, Stuck in prison 9 years for that trust. So the public defender was fired. The court appointed a new attorney eight months ago and the inmate has yet to hear from that new attorney. They threw themselves on the mercy of Court and accepted the Judge’s sentence on the grounds that they would be allowed to file for shock probation. All they want is for those involved do their part. The inmate did their part by taking responsibility for their actions, now they want full access to their rights as an American citizen, which includes the right to an appeal and the right to responsible representation. It is my responsibility to ensure that all of the parties involved are upholding their obligations.

    I have to add that along with listening to the public defender, the person is remorseful and wants to take the punishment, but wants to be treated fairly. You would if it were you sitting in a jail cell. I know I would.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to explain. I think that, unfortunately, a lot of times, our “justice” system is not geared particularly for pursuing justice. More often it is an adversarial system focused more on winning and losing. Public defenders office are notoriously underfunded and people who tend to work there are either very dedicated or just inexperienced/ineffective attorneys. I wish you and your friend the best in this situation. Blessings.

    Jon

    • Thank you Jon! I agree! One thing is for sure I am going to do all I can to make sure that things are done fairly. 🙂

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