30 June 2011

Justice (Un)Served

A man is arrested for having 218 marihuana plants and assault weapons in his house.

Another man drives drunk, causes an accident that results in injuries and flees the scene.

Under a fair and impartial justice system, the laws applying to each case would be applied and a law-constrained result would emerge. For example, the drug dealer--218 plants and assault weapons are not the attributes of a private consumer--would get jail time. And the drunk driver would face a fine, some jail time and the loss of his driver's license.

But you know--you really do--that the two incidents are going to end in something other than punishment. And you are right.

Fresh off the front pages is the report that local basketball hero José "Piculín" Ortíz, the first Puerto Rican-born NBA player and center of multiple national teams, was arrested with a forest of weed and weapons. Cutting to the chase: the prosecutor is aiming to have the ex-basketball star placed in rehab. Not jail: rehab.

And from inner pages, Judge Roberto García avoids getting hammered--hee hee--by another judge because of a technicality: a prosecutor didn't file charges within the mandated 60-day period, so the judge walks. Or drives. Whatever.

Now with in the case of the former basketball star--who should wear 218 on his jersey during pick-up games at rehab--the law is clearly being ignored. (That the "war on drugs" is useless is a separate issue: We're talking about the law as it is now.) Obviously because Piculín is famous enough for 218 whacky-tobacky plants and assault weapons to be ignored as evidence. It's as if the light of fame blinds Justice. Twice.

On the other hand, you really can't blame impaired Judge(ment) "Go-Go" García for a prosecutor's incompetence, can you? Except...the impaired judge refused a breath test on the night of the incident, had a beer can in the car, was red-eyed and smelled of alcohol when he spoke with the police who stopped him after the accident. Now all of that, even from policemen, could be construed as hearsay. If the judge was innocent of causing the accident, why did he flee the scene? If the judge was innocent of driving while under the influence, why did he refuse a breath test? If the judge was innocent and interested in Justice, why didn't he press for a speedy trial--as he knows he has the right to--especially when you take into the account that he was suspended immediately from his bench because of the incident?

No, impaired judge(ment) Go-Go García is not innocent: he caused an accident, injured a woman, fled the scene and refused to cooperate with authorities to seek Justice. He is now on the "clean" side of the ledger through a technicality, one that may have been caused by his intimate knowledge and network within the justice sewer.

On an island where the largest daily paper quotes The Onion News Network as a reliable source of information, anything can happen. Ex-basketball stars can be caught red-handed with ganja growing wild in their armory-like houses and judges crash into citizens with a Yaris they might outweigh by 200 pounds and avoid prosecution. La-dee-dah.

In My world, the judge would have to play basketball 8 hours a day for 6 months...against cons he jailed, and Piculín would have to stuff his 82-inch frame into a Yaris for a month of delivering hot meals to the homeless. Not that it would fix the Justice sewer, but it would amuse Me more than what's going right now.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

[Update: 4 July 2011: "The challenges poor people encounter while just trying to survive are so alien to our political elites that they can't even begin to understand how it effects people. At the very top, there are people who write rules just like the ones that affected Ms. (Sadie) Barker. Rules they will never ever have to live under. Her landlord is a multimillionaire slumlord with properties all over New York, but he himself lives in a comfy mansion in Great Neck, Long Island. The politicians who wrote the rules will probably never see the inside of her building, ever. It is almost impossible to fight back against the crushing weight of all the forces arrayed against the middle class and those seeking to be middle class. But sometimes, just sometimes, we the people can fight back. And win."

From Daily Kos, an example that committed lawyers and citizens can make a difference. As for the lawyers that simply want to nestle within the system, Shakespeare had a solution I fully support. Here's the essence: exposing the cockroaches is what they fear most. If We work to expose them and their activities--as citizens, media, lawyers, business owners and more--We will make a difference. Guaranteed. ]


Kofla Olivieri said...

There are three justice systems in Puerto Rico, one for the rich, one for the poor, and one for the people with connections. It is disgusting, but I am not surprised.

Ms. Conciencia said...

Definitively, we are in #LaIslaDeDios, #TheIslandOdGod, were absolutely ANYTHING can happen.

Prometeo said...

Someone that works closely with the Justice Department in Puerto Rico once told me that our justice system is ¨una porquería¨.

It´s disappointing to see these things yet people in the island don´t care. That´s why the government and all of its corrupted agencies do as they wish.

I didn´t knew about the newspaper citing the Onion as a news source. That was funny and worrisome. Who knows what else they could have printed as real information using that source.

GCSchmidt said...

Folks, what We have for a justice system is a joke, no doubt. The process is not aimed at "justice": it is aimed at "gain", with the subsequent notion that someone will bear a loss. The higher purpose is undermined and ultimately shredded in favor of the id (greed, rage, sloth. etc.) It's an oft-repeated corrosive process that is strangling Our society.