Most of us are aware of the symbol of equal justice in our country. You know, the robed lady holding a balanced scale in her hand, while sporting a blind fold, indicating that she has no respect of persons. Supposedly, she is ready and able to ensure justice for whomever comes before her because she’s only concerned with the merits of cases brought before her. She pays no attention to the race, ethnicity, gender, social standing, or any other demographic that might cause her to exercise favoritism.
Is lady justice truly blind to the point that she can’t be manipulated? Is she beyond being influenced by money, power and privilege? In my opinion and probably the opinion of others, she has been and probably will continue to be manipulated to the chagrin of many, who sorely need a good dose of justice.
I know the stance of the purveyors of justice looks much better when blindness to individuals brought before the bench of adjudication prevails; however, those purveyors are but human beings. Imperfection has been and always will be a characteristic of any process, any institution that has been established and maintained by human beings for the good of the general order. Judges and jurors are affected by the same cultural and social dynamics that work to develop the attitudes of the rest of us mere humans. Are they immune? No, but it is their professional calling to try to be.
When I say that maybe the supposed blindness of lady justice is the problem, I’m not saying she shouldn’t be objective. What I am saying is that the manipulative quality of the justice system makes her attempts at objectivity moot. Maybe she should take a gander at just what shenanigans are occurring in and around the halls of justice within which she operates. Is she truly aware of what has taken place before matters reach her? If there are actions that are taking places before her turn that are setting up conditions where miscarriages of justice are bond to happen, then maybe she should lift the corner of her blindfold? I say maybe because I’m not so sure that would be the salve to fix the problem. Maybe men and women of sterling character who are charged with executing actions within the jurisprudence system would ensure that lady justice sporting the blind fold wouldn’t present a problem for the poor, the disenfranchised.
Every time I hear of some poor character who has been released from prison, who was innocent, yet convicted twenty year ago, I can’t help but think: Maybe if she had at least taken a tiny peek from under that blind fold. Then again, maybe not.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.