The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Justice, or not

We are lead to believe that if we stand up, do the right thing and give voice to the victims in the world, then the rest of the world will react accordingly. We tell each other to put faith in justice, to trust that the truth will prevail and that in the end the victims will be vindicated by verdicts and sentences handed out.

I wish that I could lead this into a post that would continue to support our basic desire to believe that justice is, well... justice. Instead, I have to find a way to explain that sometimes justice is nothing more than a laughable deal for a child molester and a slap in the face to his victims.

In the case of Aaron Nichols, the plea deal meant allowing a child molester who had upwards of 11 victims to go free from the Hamilton County Circuit Court- with not a day in jail. His youngest victim was just 6 months old- but that case will never even make it into a court room. The cases that did make it - just two of them- involved two young boys in 2002 and 2003. His guilty plea awarded him six years in the Department of Corrections, with all suspended and four years probation for each case, two of which run concurrently and one consecutively, handing him just eight years of probation. He'll also have to register as a sexual offender.

I could plead the case that those involved, those who stood up and demanded justice gave their voices strong enough that that alone brought justice to the victims. Brought the victims a piece of serenity, of acceptance, of peace knowing that even if the courts would not do it- those who supported them gave vindication to their allegations, to their suffering. But I'm tired of that. I'm tired of seeing the courts shun their duty, and then whitewashing their failures by highlighting the dignity, respect and support that the community provided them when the courts failed. I'm just tired of making excuses for those in the 'justice' system who fail to do their jobs, leaving the rest of us to pick up the pieces and make amends for their lack of humanity.

Aaron Nichol's started molesting children as early as 15 years old. At 18, he exposed himself to a child. His victims have a wide range of ages. His family offers support to hide his behaviors, making it nearly impossible for society to have a realistic expectation that they might consider putting the next child he victimizes above their own desire to protect their child. The DA refused to hold him accountable on every case, opting to just take two to court. And then agreed to and supported a plea deal that will allow this man to remain free in society. To top it all off, a judge agreed to the plea deal- setting in stone the likelihood that one day Aaron Nichols will again be the predator abusing yet another child. This is not justice. This is blatant disregard for the suffering thrust upon the families of Aaron Nichols victims, disregard for the emotional and physical suffering of the victims themselves, and disregard for the safety of society who will now be defiled with the presence of this monster in their community and the threat that the next time he preys on a child- the victim will be their child.

Feel free to read the miscarriage of justice yourself,
articles here and here