Justice? Mr. Justice, Are you Here?
By The Caged Bear of Freedom
Justice. It’s a word that when you think of it, you think of America, and everything we were founded on. It, indeed, was what we were founded upon. The Boston Tea Party was about Justice for the people: No Taxation without Representation. Then, The Boston Massacre, where 5 people were murdered in cold blood. We demanded Justice there as well. Fast forward to 1865, and when John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln (among the other screwed up attempts that occurred on that same day), manhunts were organized, and the bodies of anyone associated with the act, swayed in the breeze from the gallows. Justice. It’s what this damned country is supposed to be about! Well, maybe it’s what it’s supposed to be about, but not anymore. We now elect men, and women, to office that have the most money, and the best cover story. Those same people honestly believe that the Constitution, and Bill of Rights are dusty old pieces of paper, that may have had relevance at one time, but not anymore. Unless you are one of the 1% that line the pockets of these supposed “civil servants”, let me fill you in on where you stand: You’re on your own bucko! Good luck with that!
This occurred to me, when a friend of mine, who was in an abusive relationship, tells me today, that she finally got a restraining order. Most people would be relieved at that, finally, help has arrived from the Judicial System! First, let me qualify. I am an advocate of people who are considered, “Pro Se”, or self-represented, in the Criminal Justice System. Unprofessionally, these are people we would referred to as “screwed”, because without any type of representation, you are chum in a tank of sharks. So, I do what I can to guide these people to make the best decisions, and file the proper forms and motions they can, and best prepare them for what is to come. My friend had managed to obtain a restraining order on her own, and now we are back to where we were prior to my brief interlude. Unfortunately, in both of the cases I’ll describe, there are two reasons for Restraining Orders, or Protective Orders; 1.) For someone who is a defined threat to that person, and needs legal orders to further threaten harsher legal action if the person is to make any sort of contact, let alone any sort of violent act towards the person. And then there’s #2.) A person takes a protective order out because they can, and there is no real threat. (This is a harder one to prove, but the effects are the same). My friend we can safely file under #1, because this man can clearly be a threat to the health and safety of her and her family. But my response wasn’t one of jubilation that she had gotten this Restraining Order. No, my mind went back to a young lady I never met, Tonya Notice.
Tonya was also in an abusive relationship, with a man named James Carpenter. Tonya went and got a protective order against Mr. Carpenter, though Mr. Carpenter continued to harass Tonya, Tonya even called the police, many times in fact. One night, Mr. Carpenter walked right through that Protective Order, and even though Tonya had called the Police, James Carpenter killed Tonya Notice. So, when my friend told me she had gotten a Restraining Order, forgive my lack of enthusiasm, when I said it’s only a piece of paper. In 2012, someone attempted to murder me. It took 12 seconds, and left me in a coma for a week. I don’t think you can dial 911, and have someone answer the phone in 12 seconds, and this woman has now put her faith in a piece of paper. Is this what justice has become? A Man, with documented anger issues, who, with the proper set of circumstances, and mindset, could very well harm this woman and her family, and he’s given a piece of paper that says not to do it?
Prisons are terribly overcrowded, and we spend ridiculous sums of money to warehouse people, instead of reforming them as is our duty as a society. I won’t get in to my theories on how we can fix some of these things, but you figure, if we’re going to overcrowd prisons anyway, why are we not remanding people who are a defined threat in domestic violence situations? It’s supposed to be that we are monitoring these people, the ones who threaten violence, through GPS monitoring. It seems that is sporadic at best, and really, at a certain point, how many people can you effectively monitor.
Everyone can agree that the Criminal Justice System is fundamentally broken, and the only thing to fix it, would be a complete tear down to the foundation, and rebuild. We know that is an implausible action, and therefore, will never happen. But what is the alternative? Do we admit that yes, the system is completely fucked, but shrug our shoulders? I won’t turn this in to a political article, but similarly, this is where a Donald Trump as a President makes complete sense to me. The Presidency, and Government hasn’t always been a disaster, and the Criminal Justice system hasn’t either. But we’ve reached a point where the status quo isn’t cutting the mustard anymore, and bringing someone in that, granted, will make things really uncomfortable for a little while, but shit, maybe it will change the way things are. What have we got to lose? We’re headed in a disastrous direction, and maybe changing things up will help bring Justice back to the people. Maybe it will save lives. Just maybe, America will be the land of the free, and home of the brave, again. Because, I don’t know what it is now, but this isn’t what the Founding Fathers envisioned.
In a future story, I will cover the wasteful spending by the State of Connecticut, so I can at least show you we’re investing Millions of Dollars in Turtles, and Pheasants, while we have Overcrowded Prisons, and people who are defined threats to others, and we can’t afford to monitor them. But, damn it, we know where the turtles are!