Justice for all? Really?

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." 

Reciting The Pledge of Allegiance is sorta like offering The Lord’s Prayer. We get so accustomed to saying them that we don’t really pay attention to the words. 

The United States may be the “land of the free, and the home of the brave,” but if you think that, in our nation, there is “justice for all,” you’ve got another guess coming! 

Case in point. 

The HFP office helps many incarcerated people in the preparation of applications for a commutation of sentence. I was asked to review the application of an elderly Native American physician, and that’s when my blood starting boiling! 

Here’s a capsule of his story. 

Dr. Desai’s business partner was strangled to death in 1983. 12 years later, based on a conversation by 2 other people alleging that he had solicited someone to commit the crime, he was arrested and charged with first degree murder. The hearsay statement was not admissible as evidence, but the jury convicted him anyway. Thus, a life sentence without parole. 

This outrageous tale doesn’t end there. 

The trial for the guy accused of committing the crime ended in a hung jury. The prosecutor’s office refused to try him again, so he’s free. On four different occasions, two State Court Judges and one Federal District Court Judge set Dr. Desai's conviction aside and set him free. He went home four times, and could have fled the country to avoid any future detention. 

Yet he stayed, and in 2001 the state prevailed, and the good doctor was ordered to spend the rest of his life in Michigan’s prison system. In other words, the alleged killer was found not guilty of the murder, but the alleged solicitor was found guilty.

Dr. Desai is 82 years of age now, and in poor health…yet we keep him locked up. Shameful! 

This story brings back memories of the Maurice Carter trial. My friend Maurice was arrested on the testimony of snitch. During his trial, the snitch recanted his testimony and told the truth…the police had offered him a deal to lie. The enraged State of Michigan then charged the guy with perjury. The definition of perjury: “The offense of willfully telling an untruth in a court after having taken an oath or affirmation.” 

So, if the snitch committed perjury, that means that his claim that Maurice Carter had committed the crime was a lie. If that was the case, how could the trial continue, and how could the jury find Maurice guilty? He spent 29 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit. 

Justice for all? Give me a break! 

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed." - Martin Luther King Jr. 

As we observe Independence Day, 2024, may we remember the oppressed.


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