Monday, July 15, 2013

Florida Justice, Florida Law

Think the Zimmerman trial was a miscarriage of justice?  Think that maybe the State of Florida, even with all the lawyers who reside here, is as much a stranger to justice as Sierra Leon or Somalia or Burma?  What can I say, what can we do when someone is acquitted of killing an unarmed person while another gets 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot that hit no one?

20 years.

You can fulminate about the lack of gun control, about what a terrible thing having the legal right to defend yourself against a brutal attacker is, but I think you'd be misinformed.  It isn't a lack of gun laws that caused Marissa Alexander's life to be confiscated or her 11 year old daughter's life to be irreparably damaged or that allowed an allegedly brutal wife beater to go unpunished.  It's bad lawyers, bad juries, mandatory sentencing and a maze of legislation that so complicates what you can an cannot do with a weapon, even in your own home, that prompted a County Sheriff's deputy to advise me that if someone breaks into my house when I'm home  to shoot to kill.  Otherwise he said, and speaking from experience; you'll be in court for more than a decade and you'll lose everything you have.  Cops running amok, courts jailing the innocent. . .   Want something to be scared of?  Forget taxes, immigrants or any of the distractions we're offered.   

Firing into the floor can get you as much time as George Zimmerman might have got had he been convicted of manslaughter.  Mandatory sentencing, the same pigheaded policy that  might have allowed a judge to let her off with a fine or warning or probation  is the problem.  It's the policy that fills our prisons with pot smokers and destroys countless families and countless lives in the name of that Republican "Law and Order" campaign platform from from the 1970's and  80's. Democrats are, as the line goes "soft on crime" said the cowardly, justice hating, Nixon and Reagan supporting bastards looking for simple, stupid and unjust answers for complex questions.  Keeping it simple as the  Fascist Tea party likes to say. 

But how much time do we spend worrying about our eroding protection from abuse while we dance to the Piper's tune, getting angry at what we're told to fear, ignoring what we're distracted from as the innocent suffer and the guilty prosper.

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