It’s been a few years and the exact details of this case are long gone and irretrievable for all of my searching across the internet. But there was a case where there were two burglars who got caught stealing. One of them shot and killed a guard or a police officer or the homeowner or somebody who was trying to apprehend them or protect the property. Bear with me, because even though the exact details have been forgotten and lost, at least for the moment, the main issue here has not been forgotten and it has relevancy.
The police caught the two thieves. And they were going to face a jury of their peers. But only one of the men squeezed the trigger on the gun used to kill whomever they killed. One of them was just a burglar and would receive a lesser sentence, but the other was a burglar and a murderer and was going to receive a much stiffer sentence. If I had my choice there would have been no distinction made between the two perpetrators. They both did the burglary and they both contributed to the death of someone. But this distinction was an important in the state where the crime took place and the subsequent trial was held.
Neither man claimed to have pulled the trigger. It was the other guy. So the prosecutor studied the evidence in order to determine who was the most guilty. The decision was made to try the men separately, one right after the other. The prosecutor went into the first trial accusing the defendant of being the murderer and laid out his reasoning. The defense attorney was unable to refute the evidence. A guilty verdict was returned and the man was taken away. But then in the second trial, the same prosecutor laid out the evidence as to why the second man was the murderer.
If memory serves correctly I believe the prosecutor got a guilty verdict in the second trial as well. But through some technicality that was too obscure for this legalese layman, a higher court threw the results of both trials out and the prosecutor was reprimanded. It was impossible for both men to have been the murderer and the prosecutor was making a conscious decision to send an innocent man to prison for murder. With the exception of the good people in “Hang’em High” Texas, the theory for most people is that it is better that a guilty man go free than an innocent man goes to jail when it is absolutely unavoidable. This wasn’t one of those unavoidable circumstances.
In the court system the truth is supposed to be the ultimate goal of any trial. And yet, the people charged with running our justice system our not interested in finding out what really happened. Prosecutors are only concerned with getting a conviction and defense attorneys are only concerned with getting their clients off. People obscure the search for truth with such well meaning expressions like, according to the constitution everyone is entitled to the best defense possible and, as the district attorney it is my job to assure that the people of the public have their community protected to the best extent of the law.
But neither the best defense possible nor the best protection possible is to take precedence over the truth. As a people we no longer look for the truth but for the best public spin that can be manufactured in a court of law or in the public’s opinion. If propaganda can distort reality into an outcome that is to our personal benefit we’ll take it each and every time.
Video tape will prove that American interrogators torture enemy combatants. Not if we send them to the shredder. And we’ll say that the evidence had to be destroyed in order to safeguard the identity of the agents involved. Never mind the fact that we out our CIA agents for political purposes when their spouse happens to write a dissenting opinion on the ethics of American policy and exercises their right to free speech as an American citizen. Members of our executive branch will spend more time defending criminals who flaunt the law in the name of a corrupt President than do an honest days work.
9-1-1 emergency response recordings will show that Joe Horn left his house with a predetermined decision to kill. Just before Mr. Horn left his house he was recorded as saying, “I’m going to kill them.” He put the phone down and ran outside with a cocked and ready shotgun. He yelled something to the effect of freeze or your dead. Not a full two seconds later the shotgun can be heard discharging. But somehow, after the tapes made it to the internet in their entirety, somebody decided it would sound better if they simply edited out the phrase “I’m going to kill them” in order to make his deadly attack against two unarmed men look more like an act of desperation. But it should be obvious that it was premeditated murder.
We know our police posses are more than capable and more than willing to manufacture evidence to get the conviction they want. In their mind, they know the guy is guilty so just plant the evidence necessary to put him away. The problem with this theory is that if the criminal is such a criminal then finding the actual evidence necessary to put him or her away should be a piece of cake. If not, then maybe that person isn’t as guilty as a police officer, district attorney, or any member of the legal system would like for them to be.
Instead of having faith that the people in our legal system would have the public’s best interest at heart and search for the ultimate truth we have to contend with a bunch of people who would be more willing to see their personal objectives served. Every time we go to court we have to deal with the lies and the lying liars that tell them. You can’t tell one side from the other anymore. So much for that blind lady justice everybody likes to talk about.