Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (What have we learned from the Central Park 5 case?)

“Justice…” What does it mean to us, and what does it mean to those “unfairly incarcerated?” There was a murder and rape many years ago in Central Park. It made national news and the public was demanding an arrest in the case. Well, they got one (in fact, they got several) but was it a case of mistaken identity? Five young boys were arrested, and conflicting evidence was overlooked just so that someone could pay the price for this awful crime. These young boys were interrogated, tried and jailed. Now, many years later, the boys are freed, but their ordeals will always haunt them. Here is their story:

Of course, justice is not perfect by any means. People have been placed on death row only to be exonerated years later due to mistaken identity. The biggest problem with the justice system is that it cannot free itself from public pressure. We “need” to have a perpetrator. We “need” to find someone guilty. We “need” to find someone to pay for what happened. These boys will never be the same. Even though they won a monetary judgment it will never erase the damages that they have suffered both physically and mentally. What is the answer? I don’t know if anyone has that, but I would start by saying that maybe trials could be a lot more fair if attorneys weren’t so money based. It seems like the cases are not about fairness, but rather who can “afford the best lawyers.” Someone who doesn’t have a lot of money can be brought down by people who can pay a lot for the right lawyer. To me, that “automatically” creates an unfair system. No matter what the crime, everyone should be “entitled” to a fair trial. ¬†According to what I have heard, you are supposed to have the presumption of innocence until “proven guilty” and that proof has to be beyond any reasonable doubt. What happened in this case has happened in many others and until we can find a way to “fix” the system we all can become victims of it. If you have never heard of this case before, then maybe you ought to check it out. Even though there are certain facts that stick out about this case, our focus should not be on race, money or character. This case should have been judged solely on “fairness.” How many other cases like this are out there now? Probably too many. We need to find a way to “truly” balance the scales of justice. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.