scales Occasional Justice scales
 
 
by Nile Stanton
19 January 2023


"Justice is truth in action." - Benjamin Disraeli

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That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we blacks are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.

Langston Hughes, "Justice," quoted in Milton Meltzer, Langston Hughes: A Biography 160 (1968). Hughes wrote the poem in honor of the Scottsboro Boys.


HISTORIC CASES OF GROSS INJUSTICE

      A famous case of gross injustice is that of the Scottsboro Boys. In 1931, nine young black men were falsely accused of raping two white women on a train in Alabama. Despite a lack of evidence and contradictory testimony from the alleged victims, all nine men were convicted and sentenced to death. Several of the convictions were later overturned, but the remaining defendants were resentenced to death or long prison terms. It took decades for the truth to come out, and the Scottsboro Boys were eventually exonerated, but not before several of them had been executed or died in prison. The case was a glaring example of racial injustice and the flaws in the American legal system.
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      Another case of gross injustice in America is the case of the Central Park Five. In 1989, five young black and Latino men (Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise) were falsely accused and convicted of raping a white woman in Central Park, New York City. They were all between the ages of 14 and 16 at the time of the crime. Despite a lack of physical evidence linking them to the crime and inconsistencies in the prosecution's case, they were all found guilty and sentenced to between 5 and 15 years in prison.

      It wasn't until 2002, when DNA evidence and a confession from another individual proved their innocence. They were eventually exonerated, but not before they had served between 6 and 13 years in prison. This case was a tragic example of how the criminal justice system can fail and how racism can play a role in the wrongful convictions of innocent individuals. The five men filed a lawsuit against New York City and reached a settlement of $41 million for their wrongful convictions and imprisonment.

      Note that Netflix presented a superb four-part series "When They See Us" directed by Ava DuVernay treating events before and after the highly publicized trial of the Central Park Five. Too, the brief entry for Yusef Salaam on the Innocence Project's website is worth reading, as are entries for numerous other cases on the organization's website.

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JUSTICE IN THE NEWS

     This is emphatically not a bash-Donald-Trump website. What we will do, however, is examine as objectively as reasonably possible the potential and pending criminal charges against him and ones against President Joe Biden. (Financial, educational, corporate, racial, and other injustices will also be commented upon at times.) For now, I merely want to add this: Donald Trump really, really must discipline himself. He is undoubtedly driving his defense attorneys nuts! Beyond question, any competent lawyer would insist that he not say one more word about the Mar-A-Lago papers or anything related to January 6, 2021. As it now stands, Trump incriminates himself almost daily, because he does not understand what evidence can be used against him.