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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Portsmouth, You Should Not Distort Justice

"You shall appoint judges and officials throughout your tribes, in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, and they shall render just decisions for the people. You must not distort justice; you must not show partiality; and you must not accept bribes, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue, so that you may live and occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you."

(Deut. 16:18-20 Holy Bible)

How we treat the weakest in our midst -- the poor, the needy, the desperately oppressed -- is the irreplaceable core of our individual identity. The trust we put in our judges and in our public officials to treat all people, no matter their station, with guarantees of equality and justice defines the core of our native environment. All of them play an essential role in lifting us above self-centeredness and despotism of time.

In a city like Portsmouth, Ohio, partiality determines the narrow focus of care. Justice here is commonplace only to those with the minds and the means to support the power structure's overbearing control of the less fortunate. Public trust in judicial and enforcement officials is exceedingly low.

In times of political election and financial need, these civil servants court the public to extend their rule of favoritism. In doing so, they use scare tactics like "if you don't ..." and they purposely deceive the electorate into thinking that, somehow, problems for them abound because "they (those in charge) get little support" or "they (those who have fumbled) just don't have the means to matter."

It is scapegoating of the populace that is simultaneously aimed at pulling their heartstrings. It is so ingrained in the public that few question the vision and wisdom of leaders. And, it is business as usual in the political world of the Good Old Boys -- "trick 'em, stick 'em, and kick 'em."

In a day-to-day environment devoid of trust, no pride can lift the spirits of those who occupy the  "under-class" -- the class comprised of people who really don't matter to those in control. I hold that it is not the common people of Portsmouth that have caused its ruination, but rather it is the people in control of this town that have mishandled funds, abused their positions, and created an intolerable climate for inequality of justice.

In 2014, an NBC News/Marist poll showed nearly half of Americans polled say their confidence in the legal system has decreased. In even more disconcerting findings, a 2012 Gallup poll discovered merely 29 percent of Americans have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the criminal justice system.
Ron Faucheux of The Atlantic Monthly reported:
"These numbers (of the polls) should trouble Americans of all political stripes, and they should awaken elected officials, Democrats, and Republicans, to the deep dangers of what most voters view as a broken system.

"Clearly, Americans sense something isn't working in our nation's courtrooms. That comes on top of well-documented public suspicion of political backrooms and corporate boardrooms. This massive lack of trust is not an esoteric issue to be discussed in law school seminars -- it is, instead, a fundamental problem in a diverse, expansive country that relies upon public confidence in its institutions for national stability."

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