Editor, Daily Press:
Last year’s incident in the jail where inmate Daniel Bosh received significant injuries from what appears to be an attack by a jail employee serves as a reminder that we have flaws in our justice system.
The entire justice system is filled with people who stand in judgment of their peers. Most religions I know of teach that God is the ultimate judge. In Christianity, the Bible says, “Judgment is mine, sayeth the Lord.” In Judaism, a name for God is Elohim, which means creator/judge.
It takes an enormous ego to act as a surrogate for God. Sometimes those egos get in the way. It takes colossal gall to view the video of the Chronister/Bosh incident and say there is not enough evidence of a crime to present the matter to a jury. By preventing a jury from learning the facts, Assistant District Attorney [Jack] Thorp has judged those involved. He has deigned not to prosecute for reasons he has chosen not to reveal.
We have laws to guide us in our behavior. My take is the ADA does not respect the law and is play-acting the part of an arbiter of justice. I have that opinion of many at the Cherokee County Theater of Justice.
To further illuminate the extent to which egos influence our justice system, the judicial branch has created its own set of laws that some within the court believe supersede those passed by the legislative branch and authors of the state and U.S. constitutions. This code is an addendum to the statute and is often called “jury instructions.” A jury instruction is an administrative rule that should have no relevance outside a courtroom, but if a jury instruction and its statute do not match, the egos who adjudicate the matter defer to the alleged greater knowledge of the law by the egos who wrote the jury instruction. A judge can eliminate the state’s burden of writing a coherent law, circumventing the reasonable doubt created when a law is ambiguous. But it does not adhere to the principle of innocent until proven guilty and becomes guilt by decree, because it subverts due process where the legislature creates laws, not the judicial branch. As citizens, we have the right to know what is legal and what is not; two sets of differing laws do not meet this requirement. When judges take a circuitous route to make a perception of law meet circumstances, they too are play-acting as arbiters of justice.
[Law enforcement officers] may be the best play-actors of the bunch. Some seem to create an alternate reality with their summation of facts. Some will use the word “threat” when they describe a potential for embarrassment or being spoken to harshly. Some will say a facial contortion caused by pain is the appearance of a spitting posture. For most officers, it’s not at all about what happened, it’s about what they can make people perceive happened. There’s also that code of silence, where lazy officers who feel they must work outside the law have created an atmosphere of tolerance to their own behavior.
Respect for the law is shown by adherence to the law, not by finding methods to subvert law. If insiders are allowed to pick and choose to whom the law applies, at some point the insider’s actions become criminal. That’s when the real play-acting begins; people with no conscience passing judgment.
The jail incident also serves as a test for the district attorney. Will he show respect for the law, or is he happy in his role as a play-actor, too?
In 1772 B.C., Hammurabi wrote: “To bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, so that the strong should not harm the weak.” Even four millennia ago, they knew some things were inherently wrong. Intentionally slamming an incapacitated man’s head into an immovable object is wrong and deserves to be brought before a jury of peers for judgment.