It is easy in awful times, in just living personally challenging lives, or even if you are doing OK – to ignore things that do not affect us directly. Healthy approach to be sure, however suppose you realized that you are just a single step, a whim of a judicial cog, away from losing your freedom without the fair shake you were taught to believe existed.
Lady Justice is blind, right? Holding the scales of justice boldly to ensure no person be denied a fair and impartial approach? Welcome to your nightmare, except you cannot wake up from this one. Before I continue, a word on the role of a free press in this society and the very reasons they have until recently been the greatest treasure and check on the powers that be.
My bet is much like the public’s belief in judicial fairness, the belief that the Freedom of the press is the right to circulate opinions without censorship by the government is also held. Americans enjoy freedom of the press under the First Amendment to the Constitution, which states: ‘Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech or of the press.’ Sound about right? Again, welcome to your nightmare, one that you cannot wake up from.
In the recent few years the free press and the judicial system have become an echo chamber, a very dangerous one indeed. So many words, so many misnomers, misdirection’s the horrifying sight of the Modesto Bee sitting on one side of the scales of justice and a lockbox stuffed full of exculpatory evidence on the other side.
Kyles v. Whitley, 514 U.S. 419 (1995) stated that Disclosure of exculpatory evidence “will tend to preserve the criminal trial, as distinct from the prosecutor’s private deliberations, as the chosen forum for ascertaining the truth about criminal accusations”
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963) says it best “We now hold that the suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the of the good faith or bad faith of the prosecution.
You should be afraid… very afraid. Imagine you, members of your family/friends were arrested and prosecuted and kept in prison to rot as the District Attorney’s office rolled the very evidence that proved your innocence into cigars to be smoked with Modesto Bee staff in backroom echo chambers.
Thank the Lord that a Judge has seen this miscarriage for what it is and now the District Attorney must be wondering for whom the bell tolls now.