Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Judging Justice

A woman who was found guilty of murdering and torturing a 12 year old girl back in 1992 recently tried to get her guilty sentenced over turned. The judge justly denied that motion and the woman will still have to serve her 60 years. She was 16 when she did this crude crime and she is not 32, so she has already served 16 years of that sentence and will serve 34 more years, basically releasing her from prison when she is 66. The story itself bothered me but the end of what I read bothered me even more and got me to thinking about our “justice” system, or lack there of. “Of her three co-defendants -- Hope Rippey, Laurie Tackett and Toni Lawrence -- only Tackett also remains in prison. Rippey was released last year, while Lawrence was released in 2000.” That’s what I read that disturbed me. That means Rippey was released in 2006 only 16 years after she murdered and tortured this little girl. Lawrence was released in 2000, only 8 years after the crime. Now the last guilty party is trying to over turn her guilty plea?

We have defense attorney’s that get paid money, really good money too, to defend guilty parties. They know their clients are guilty and yet defend them and try to lessen the blow of punishment for them. In some cases, defense attorneys are so good they actually get their guilty clients off and free from any charges. I would be very interested to do a report of journalism documentary about how they feel about defending people they know are guilty. That would be pretty intense, but interesting indeed. I think letting a guilty person go because of a person who is sly with words (attorney) is not just. Nor do I think serving 8 years for torturing and murdering a little girl is just. Does what I think is just really matter though?

God is totally just, but totally love. It is hard to get my mind around that. I don’t think any of us can know what complete justice looks like outside of the one example of the cross. God was completely just and loving in the crucifixion of Christ. I was talking with a co-worker the other day about this principle in Indianapolis that was pulled over for a DUI. He is a principle of a school, so in the community this offense was escalated. Check out the story for yourself.
So my coworkers asks, “Adam, what do you think, should he lose his job?” I didn’t have a response because I was torn between two opinions within myself. My one opinion was of grace and in agreement with the Hamilton County community. The other opinion was one of “justice” that made me think he should lose his job because he is a public figure that is impacting children.

The whole point of me bringing up that story is not to get into what should happen, but my own ideas of justice. They are flawed. We dogmatically stand firm on our republican and democratic agendas and forget often times that both sides are wrong, both sides are operating off a flawed justice system. The only justice system that will ever be perfect will be the one Jesus runs when He comes back. Justice is an interesting thought in this world, we try hard, but fall short don’t we? So whether you are an elephant or donkey, jsutice seeker or grace giver, Christian or not, one must agree that justice doesn't seem to be just. That is because the jsutice we seek here on earth is without God for the most part.

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