Friday, July 13, 2007

Innocence is no excuse.

Never confuse justice with the law. Since most of the gross injustice resulting from the enforcement of the law happens to people we don't identify with, we don't give a damn as a nation. Our real concern seems to be making sure that we punish as many people as we can as severely as we can, so that if we're a citizen, we can deal with our irrational fear and if we're a politician we can seem "tough on crime."

There's blood on our hands, since we don't do anything about it in so many cases and too often, we not only don't care, we help the situation along. We succumb to emotionalism in writing sentencing guidelines and in our fear of anyone guilty of anything escaping, we're not scrupulous about justice.

Take the infamous case Herrera Vs. Collins. Our allegedly "Activist" courts ruled that as long as an innocent man's sentence of death met legal requirements, it didn't matter if he was innocent. People get 55 years for selling weed, a teenager can get ten years because another teen had consensual oral sex with him, people too mentally defective to know what death means are killed by the State . It's all about the system, about the rules and procedures; all the things that are more important than justice.

So the law here in Florida can demand child support of a man who didn't father the child and can throw him in jail for it even though he can prove it wasn't his and the child's mother says it wasn't his. Florida wants him to pay and pay and pay and Florida is alone in that demand and why? Because some filing deadline was missed and missed because the kid was 11 years old before Francisco Rodriguez ever heard of her.

We're tough on crime here in Florida - yes sir. We're so tough we don't care whether there is a crime or if you're guilty of it.

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