Justice For All?

Yeah for Friday! My cat, Sammy follows me everywhere I go and gets tired of the many treks from my bedroom, to the kitchen, to my office, back to the kitchen, back to my office, then maybe to the laundry room, then back to the kitchen, before ending the day in the living room, where he finally gets a lap upon which to sit. Weekends are much slower around here, and he is a happy cat. 🙂

Just in case you think the justice system is not horribly broken and biased, consider the case of a man on death row in San Quentin Prison in California. Kevin Cooper, a black man, could be executed next year if Governor Jerry Brown does not step forward and grant Cooper a new trial, based on new evidence, as well as what has come forward about the blatant mishandling of the original investigation by San Bernadino law enforcement.

DNA testing of hair found in the victims’ hands, blonde and brown, could prove that someone other than Cooper killed those people, but as of the latest news, Governor Brown is refusing to allow the testing, even though the defense is willing to pay for it.

The crime took place in June 1983, when Doug and Peggy Ryen were stabbed to death in their hone, along with their 10-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old neighbor boy. Eight year-old Josh Ryen was also attacked, but he survived.

All of the victims were white.

Some of the most obvious problems with the case against Kevin include a statement by Josh that three white people had murdered his family. That was substantiated when others came forward to say they had seen three white men with blood on their clothes at a bar called the Canyon Corral.

Later, a woman told police that her boyfriend, who was a convicted murderer who had served his time, might have been involved in these murders.

He was white.

Do you see the pattern here?

This woman gave her boyfriend’s bloody overalls to the police, and also told them that a hatchet was missing from her garage.

There was forensic evidence that indicated that the weapons used in the murders included an ice pick, a hatchet and several knives. How one man could have wielded all those weapons, while subduing five people, including an ex-Marine who had a loaded gun nearby, was not a question that prosecutors or the jury asked themselves.

Everybody bowed to the pressure of a state’s attorney, a state senator, and the community to solve this case and solve it quickly. And how convenient that Kevin Cooper was right there.

When I read about Kevin Cooper in articles online, as well as listening to his story on The Daily with Michael Barbaro, I couldn’t help but think of a Netflix Series, Rectify. The series that ran for four seasons was about a man who had served 20 years on death row in Georgia and got out through the dogged efforts of his sister and an attorney. Like, Kevin, the character of Daniel Holden was pushed through the judicial system based on pressure from on high and poor police work.

Five federal judges believe that Kevin was framed by police, including William A. Fletcher, a federal circuit judge. He gave a lecture at the law school of Gonzaga University stating that Kevin is “probably” innocent. He added that often happens in such cases is that, “The police are under heavy pressure to solve a high-profile crime. They know, or think they know, who did the crime. And they plant evidence to help their case along.”

You can read a lot more about Kevin Cooper’s story at The New York Times in an article by Nicholas Kristof, with Jessia Ma and Stuart A. Thompson, “Was Kevin Cooper Framed?”

Now for some fun, jokes courtesy of The Laugh Factory

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal and a bottle of wine, they laid down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied, “I see millions and millions of stars.”

“What does that tell you?”

Watson pondered for a minute. “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies, and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you?”

Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke. “It tells me that someone has stolen our tent.”

Reaching the end of a job interview, the human resources officer asks a young engineer fresh out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “And what starting salary are you looking for?”

The engineer replies, “In the region of $125,000 a year, depending on the benefits package.”

The interviewer says, “Well, what would you say to a package of five weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50% of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a red Corvette?”

The engineer sits up straight and says, “Wow! Are you kidding?”

The interviewer replies, “Yeah, but you started it.”

That’s all for me folks. Do weigh in on the state of the judicial system in the U.S. Or tell me which joke you like best. Or share a joke. Or tell me how much you love me cat. 🙂

Have a great weekend.


4 thoughts on “Justice For All?”

  1. Oh, my goodness. I can’t believe how Kevin Cooper appears to have been railroaded despite all the evidence to the contrary. Yes, the system is definitely broken. On a different note, love the jokes. They were just what I needed to perk me up today.

    1. When I heard the broadcast on the Daily and the evidence was laid out, I think I said, “What?” Of course only my cats heard me. I do like to end the Friday post with a joke or two. Having a bit of a laugh is a good way to ease into the weekend.

  2. This is very sad! Unfortunately I think it happens to often. A rush to judgement is never a good thing.
    On a lighter note, I just love your Sammy!!?

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