Justice

Justice

I’ve been studying justice.

It’s been hard.

I could not find too much of it.

I looked in the courts

But it wasn’t to be found –

Only the tiniest bit.

I searched the battlefields.

There was none.

All lost in the fog of true grit.

I hunted for it on the streets,

Searched high and low

Justice had taken a hit.

It seems we don’t value justice

We have no wish to be fair.

We’re happy to tolerate poverty

And injustice everywhere.

Justice is just for the rich.

They make sure they get their share.

Opher – 11.4.2021

The courts do not dispense justice. They undergo procedure according to the law. It very much depends on how good a barrister you can afford. The courts protect the state. They require scapegoats as deterrents.

Violence in war, by tyrants, by gangs, by the authorities, overrides all justice.

We live in a world of our own design. We have created massive inequality, exploitation and poverty.

These things have not come about by chance. They were designed.

The powerful choose injustice, unfairness and selfishness. They think they deserve it.

Justice

Justice

I’ve been studying justice.

It’s been hard.

I could not find too much of it.

I looked in the courts

But it wasn’t to be found –

Only the tiniest bit.

I searched the battlefields.

There was none.

All lost in the fog of true grit.

I hunted for it on the streets,

Searched high and low

Justice had taken a hit.

It seems we don’t value justice

We have no wish to be fair.

We’re happy to tolerate poverty

And injustice everywhere.

Justice is just for the rich.

They make sure they get their share.

Opher – 11.4.2021

The courts do not dispense justice. They undergo procedure according to the law. It very much depends on how good a barrister you can afford. The courts protect the state. They require scapegoats as deterrents.

Violence in war, by tyrants, by gangs, by the authorities, overrides all justice.

We live in a world of our own design. We have created massive inequality, exploitation and poverty.

These things have not come about by chance. They were designed.

The powerful choose injustice, unfairness and selfishness. They think they deserve it.

Poetry – Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

The same thing

Time after time

Injustice and violence

‘Dominate the jerks’

Says Trump.

One rule for you

And one rule for me

Complete lack

Of empathy

From the chump.

Life is cheap

If you are black

In America.

Where’s the leadership?

Where’s the compassion?

Where’s the country’s Cazar?

Hiding away in his bunker

With the lights out

Tweeting threats!

Devoid of answers.

Devoid of humanity.

Displaying no regrets!!

Opher 1.6.2020

How long does it take for a people to gain justice?

How many years?

Civil rights is not a gift to bestow; it is a right.

Human beings are all one species.

It is time we started to judge people by their character and not their colour.

Long overdue!!

Poetry – Equality

Equality

Something’s gotta change.

This racial divide is despicable.

This use of violence intolerable.

This inequality reprehensible.

This has gone on

For far too long.

People need to act.

That’s a fact!

The level of racism in the country is incredible.

Indefensible.

Incomprehensible!

Opher – 20.11.2020

The Black Lives Matter campaign should not be happening.

Not in 2020.

The fact that racism is still so prevalent is a sign of a sick society.

America is the richest country on the planet – and the most unequal!

Something has got to change.

It starts with education.

Poetry – Nothing is Sacred – a poem about the establishment, justice, freedom and hypocrisy.

Poetry – Nothing is Sacred – a poem about the establishment, justice, freedom and hypocrisy.

Book of Ginny cover

Nothing is Sacred

This is the world of hypocrisy where the establishment preserves itself and wields its power.

Religion is used to control the people and our children are taught the rudiments of violence through play. This is the world where money talks. The last rhino, gorilla, chimp, dolphin, whale, lion and tiger will likely be purchased by a trophy hunter. If you have enough money you can buy a jet-fighter or even an atomic bomb.

We are living in the free market and we’re up for sale.

The whole planet is becoming a Disney-world tourist trap and we are stuck on the paper.

The media control our thoughts, tastes and dreams.

The media produces an endless diet of distracting, mindless trivia.

We can be bought if the price is right.

The rebels are incorporated into the consumer package.

Morality?

Morality is a victim of the system. It speaks where the money is and is quiet when the victims scream.


Nothing is Sacred

There’s a plastic Jesus on the dashboard,

A toy gun on the floor,

A poster Bosch upon the wall,

All bought from the local store.

 

If you pay the price

You can buy everything

From a rhino to a bomb.

No one cares about anything

They’re all going for a song.

 

Nothing is sacred

Anything can be bought

Including every one of us

In this world

Morality counts for nought.

 

Opher 2.9.2015

The British Justice System is a Lottery!! It needs overhauling.

The four occasions I have come into contact with the British Justice System have all left me disgusted with how it has worked and the decisions it has reached. I have no doubt that there are many people currently in prison who are completely innocent. I have no doubt that many guilty people are released and go Scott free. I know many innocent people have been dragged over the coals for years before being proved innocent.

This is disgusting!!  Something needs to happen to put this right!! I illustrate this with 4 cases I have been directly involved with as a Jury foreman, close friend, work colleague or family member.

Case 1 – The disgusting castigation of Celebrities.

In the wake of the obnoxious serial sexual abuser Jimmy Saville the pendulum swung too far the other way. In Jimmy Saville’s case victims were not listened to or believed. Post Saville ‘victims’ were listened to and believed. Unfortunately this was carried forward whether there was foundation or not, evidence or not. So complaints were made and innocent celebrities and Rock Stars were dragged before the court without there being a shred of evidence apart from the accusations of a single ‘victim’.

In order to attempt to put together a case the celebrities name was put out in the media in the hopes that other ‘victims’ would come forward to substantiate the claims of the first ‘victim’. For years the celebrities name and reputation was dragged through the mud. Their career was ruined and they spent a fortune on solicitors fees in order to put together a defence to clear their name. The psychological pressure was enormous and destroyed people.

But were all these ‘victims’ really victims? Were some looking for a pay out? Were some psychologically disturbed and looking for power or attention? Were some psychotic and looking to bring people down?

Surely there has to be some solid evidence before destroying people?

At the end of this process many of the accusations were deemed not credible. In some case the final accusations were trivial and not worthy of the huge furore.

Have the Crown Prosecution/Police been too intent at taking ‘victims’ words at face value? Have some celebrities been made into victims?

After having had their careers destroyed and finding themselves having spent a fortune to clear their names they find themselves with no redress.

It would seem to me that the Police/Crown Prosecution should listen to ‘victims’ and take them seriously but be much more circumspect about making the accused’s name public or taking cases to court. They should be much more cognisant of the effects of that process on the accused. Innocent people have been ruined.

Case 2 – The Lack of Diligence by the Crown Prosecution

A relative was accused of attacking someone in a pub. He had been abused and threatened by a drunken young man which had resulted in a scuffle in which he had been hit and responded by hitting back. He ended up in a prison cell and was subsequently charged with Grievous Bodily Harm.

The police at the time took witness statements from the young man’s friends who accused him of attacking their friend and punching him repeatedly.

My relative denied the charges.

My relative was put on bail and had to wait for well over a year for the case to reach the Crown Court. In the meantime his place of employment held a tribunal and sacked him. So much for innocent until proven guilty!

There was a CCTV video of the incident that clearly showed that the prosecution’s case was wrong. If, at the beginning, the Crown Prosecution had looked at the CCTV they would not have prosecuted. As soon as the Judge saw the CCTV he threw the case out without a stain on his character and asked the Crown Prosecution how this case had come before the court.

My relative had been through hell for over a year with the threat of a prison sentence hanging over him. He was innocent but it did not prevent him being sacked, having to sign on the dole and losing a great deal of money. It did not put right the psychological damage that had been done to him.

Were the Crown Prosecution just not wanting to make a decision and chose to pass it to the court without considering the impact on the innocent accused? Had they spend half an hour looking at the evidence? I don’t think they had. A half hour’s work would have saved a year of huge stress, him being sacked and a wasted expensive court case. In my opinion the Crown Prosecution had simply not done their job.

My other two cases were of a murderer who went free simply because members of the jury refused to believe a word the police said or find anybody guilty despite a hugely detailed mass of evidence that he was undoubtedly a hitman for a gang and as guilty as hell. Then a ‘rapist’ who was quite probably not guilty who had been found guilty because the defence solicitor was incompetent. He had made the wrong defence. He was sent to prison and lost his career.

Justice is a lottery. The Crown Prosecution and police are often incompetent. If you can afford a good defence you will probably get off even if you are guilty.

Part of this is due to a lack of money and part of it is due to having an archaic system that is not fit for purpose as well as incompetence and poor procedures.

It needs overhauling!!! It is not fit for purpose!!  Justice should not be a lottery for either victims or the accused!!

The 96 Hillsborough victims and all who loved you – You’ll Never Walk Alone!

Hillsborough%20Disaster%20Flowers%20and%20scarves%20on%20the%20pitch

To all the families and friends of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy – As a Manchester United supporter – I send you my warmest sympathy.

You’ve walked through a terrible storm for twenty seven years and you’ve held your head up high.

After yesterday’s ruling you can walk tall and know there is a golden sky ahead.

The start of justice has begun. There have been terrible lies spoken. And an orchestrated campaign against you. The Sun and Police should hold their heads down in shame. Hopefully there will be prosecutions for the ones who made the mistakes and those who tried their hardest to cover it up. I would particularly like to see those who deliberately made up the atrocious lies about the behaviour of the Liverpool supporters brought to justice. They are scum.

The lies that were deliberately manufactured to cover up the mistakes made have not only caused distress but have tarnished the name of Liverpool supporters and Liverpool. Those people who deliberately did those malicious and inexcusable acts need locking away.

Justice is coming.

The country is united with you – You’ll never walk alone again!

The Legal system – Restorative Practice.

P1080898

Restorative Practice

At school, as a Head of Year, Deputy Head and Headteacher, I used Restorative Practice to solve incidents. It is a philosophy which is efficient and highly effective.

You bring together the parties concerned and establish what has happened. This is often achieved through questioning but may require witness statements or further investigation. Once the facts have been established the people involved are confronted with their actions, the consequences on others and guided through what they should have done. Then suitable punishments are ascribed. I always asked both parties what they thought the punishment should be.

This is what I found:

  1. It was relatively easy to establish what had taken place
  2. Once confronted with evidence the guilty party invariably admitted their guilt
  3. Rarely was it one sided – there were mistakes made by all parties to one degree or another
  4. The punishments selected by the victims were usually lighter than I would have imposed
  5. The punishments selected by the guilty party were usually harsher than I would have imposed.
  6. By the end I had established what had gone wrong, who was to blame (and to what degree), and what should be done to make amends.
  7. Both parties left feeling that justice had been done
  8. Both parties were usually guilty to an extent
  9. The punishments fitted the crime
  10. Both parties accepted the verdict and felt the punishments were appropriate
  11. There was modelling of what should have happened.
  12. It was speedy.
  13. Both parties apologised and made up and could appreciate the impact, physically, emotionally and psychologically, on the other.
  14. The participants left the room without feeling aggrieved, feeling they had been listened to and justice had been done. Their punishments were an atonement.

I believe the Legal System could adopt a similar process for most, even serious, crimes. For perpetrators to see the effect they were having on real victims and for victims to see and understand real reasons that perpetrators had for committing crimes and for punishments to be applied fairly – it is a win win for me.

The British Legal system – A travesty – In need of an overhaul.

IMG_6506

The British legal system

Having had experience of the British legal system from many sides I think I am qualified to express a few observations and opinions.

The British legal system stinks.

There are probably far better systems elsewhere in Europe.

What we want from a legal system

  1. Justice (for the victim and accused)
  2. Speedily delivered

That is not what we get.

What we get

  1. An archaic charade
  2. An expensive system
  3. A slow, laborious process
  4. An adversarial system that is not concerned with justice but law
  5. A system full of prejudice
  6. A system where the rich can afford to buy better defence
  7. A system that puts money in the pockets of rich barristers
  8. A lottery system where all too often the guilty walk free and the innocent are found guilty

My own experience

  1. As a defendant (found guilty three times for traffic offences I did not commit)
  2. As a jury member (sent an innocent man to prison)
  3. As a person who has listened to other jury members (a catalogue of wrongful convictions and guilty parties walking free)
  4. As a parent of an accused man (wrongfully charged and put through a lengthy process that was so stressful and prolonged, and full of such uncertainty (given the vagaries of the system), that none of us have escaped unscathed. Despite being rightfully found innocent there was an enormous cost – financial, career-wise and on mental health.
  5. As a friend of accused people (guilty and not guilty). The stress and uncertainties, the legal costs and slow process, results in punishment even if later found not guilty.

It hardly fills you with confidence.

A better system

  1. A speedy process that is streamlined
  2. A modern system without all the pageantry and archaic silliness
  3. A system that is not adversarial but seeks to establish the truth. It is not about a clever lawyer putting together a better case than the other lawyer. It is not about how many notches on the belt. It is about justice and whether someone has done it or not.

There are far too many murderers and criminals walking free because they are able to buck the system.

There are far too many victims not receiving justice.

There are far too many innocent people locked up.

From my, admittedly limited knowledge, I much prefer the French system. The Judge, with the help of the police, and interviews with the accused and witnesses, sets out to establish exactly what has happened – seeks the truth – then dispenses justice. There is much we can learn from Europe in many areas – justice is one of them.

I think the British are often arrogant and unwilling to change. Our justice system has not and does not serve us well. The jury system is highly flawed (bored, unintelligent, prejudiced people do not make good judgements). The system has bias towards rich and middle-class whites and against young, lower-class men from ethnic minorities. It is time we learnt from best practice elsewhere and overhauled the whole system.