Reforming the Justice System must begin at the top

Talk to anyone who is familiar with our current justice system and many will point you toward reform but that is typically as far as the conversation goes because those who seem to care still are not sure how to go about making the change.  Some strongly suggest starting at the bottom where crimes are committed and those committing those crimes come in contact with the system but all that is mostly done there is a change in the law or procedures.  While this is and could be a good thing, it does not go far enough to make those abused by the system whole and no amount of money will ever return another’s lost dignity and self-respect. 

Once you are arrested, you immediately have a record and nowhere in the remnants will there ever be the outcome of your case.  A bad arrest will show on your record just the same as a good arrest, so now the dreams, aspirations and goals of someone who were abused by the system are just as tainted, stained and tossed as someone who was well aware of their choice to break a law and still did it anyway.  Maybe we need to start at the top, where the decisions are actually made and the results are sealed within those abused person’s future by those granted the authority to ruin another’s life.

In an article titled “Jailed 96 days on bogus charge: It is no one's fault”?  written by Jeff Amy for the Associated Press, it is reported that in Ackerman, Mississippi “Pulled over for traffic violations, Jessica Jauch was held for 96 days in a Mississippi jail without seeing a judge, getting a lawyer or having a chance to make bail. She was charged with a felony based on a secretly recorded video that prosecutors finally acknowledged showed her committing no crime.  Only when she finally got a hearing and a lawyer, who persuaded prosecutors to watch the video, did the case fall apart.  A federal judge dismissed her case against Choctaw County and Sheriff Cloyd Halford last month, ruling that because she had been indicted by a grand jury on the felony drug charge, none of her constitutional and legal rights were violated.  In fact, a Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics video showed Jauch asking to borrow the $40. But Jauch's lawyer in her federal suit, Victor Fleitas, said no one knew that because investigators and prosecutors apparently never watched the video before persuading the grand jury to charge her with selling a controlled substance. And she wasn't arraigned until the next court term in Choctaw County, three months later.  Jauch posted $15,000 bail and was released Aug. 6 after she finally got a lawyer. Once the assistant district attorney watched the video, he immediately agreed to drop the charges, Public Defender Hays Burchfield wrote.

Jessica Jauch’s life is ruined because anyone wishing to run a background check on her will find this arrest on her record and depending on the ones doing the interview, will she ever get a real opportunity to explain and show what really happened.  This is the life of all those who dwells within the poor and middle class status of this country and being a Christian Nation, we should be able to do better than we are.  How can we explain and expect to teach our children to have respect for a justice system that even those granted the power and authority don’t have respect for?


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