Liberty and Justice for All?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Sometimes one needs to stand up and speak about injustices carried out.

Submitted: May 14, 2011

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Submitted: May 14, 2011



Indulge me for a moment as I tell a tale of two different people I've encountered during my past. While neither were, are, or likely ever will make history, they had a lasting impact on my life. Both shared something in common, something which I am compelled to discuss. Let's start with the latter encounter, a district attorney involved with trying cases in the downtown Seattle municipal court. A little background is necessary to help paint the picture.

Like most citizens, I've been called in for jury duty. During my tour of potential jury duty, I spent the majority of my time in the waiting area until late on the afternoon on my final day. Being interviewed as a possible juror on a trial of a suspect accused of stealing a pair of shoes from a department store, I listened to the opposing attorneys probe the candidate jurors with questions. When my turn arrived, a question was posed by the prosecuting attorney about whether I would believe the word of a police officer over that of a citizen. I answered in my own way, but was silenced before I could complete my response. None-the-less, the entire court room understood my stance. During the final selection process, I was one of the first to be dismissed.

Now, let's move backwards in time, to another encounter I had with a schoolmate during my young adult years. Early one morning, a number of my classmates and I congregated in the school cafeteria for coffee. One member of the group made a statement about the legal system and punishments. He proclaimed his opinion clearly and without hesitation. I shall paraphrase his statement to communicate the point:

“Anyone who commits a crime against a government official or civil servant must be dealt with in the most severe possible manner above and beyond the justice which is administered for a common citizen. The criminal must be made an example of.”

While I attempted to argue the issue, it was clear my opinions were not welcomed by the group as a whole. My comments were met with satirical jeers and rude comments by the majority of the circle.

One might ask, what do these two different scenarios have in common. I will use words from one of the most influential documents it the history of United States to point out my anger, hostility, and shear frustration with people like these two people I had the displeasure of encountering:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...”

These incredibly deep words speak volumes. As an American citizen, I recognize not only what the forefathers of this nation intended, but I also fully understand the sacrifices made by people like my father who endured inconceivable hardships during conflicts like World War II to ensure the freedom for people like myself. Way to go Dad! You're a bigger man than I will ever be. But the universe loves a balance. For all that is good, there is that which evokes feelings of intense anger in my heart. While the district attorney I mentioned might very well claim, “I'm merely working within the system”, I would be remiss if I didn't point out the trial of John Demjanjuk. I'll leave it to the reader to draw conclusions here. As for my prior schoolmate, I have no question about his lack of understanding in regards to the Constitution of the United States. Our country was built upon the concept that no man or woman is above another. I'll close by saying this: Freedom, appreciate it, support it, and give honor to all those who sacrificed to maintain it. Fight ignorance to the very end!

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