In RE: The Rule of Law v. Justice
Justice Cooperman, in acquitting the officers, asserted from the bench that inconsistent testimony by, and prior criminal records of, prosecution witnesses, principally the victim's friends, "had the effect of eviscerating" their credibility.
Not only was Justice Cooperman's means of arriving at his verdicts wrong, it was broadly outrageous on its face, and it speaks to the distortion of justice by courts over which preside judges who use their position to promote their own classist views. The detached assertions of The New York Times notwithstanding, the use of courts to craft justice by class has the invariable effect of promoting racism, sexism, and all manner of other ills the elites would furiously disclaim as their intent, even as they repeatedly ensure the endurance of inequality in both their refined and brutish instrumentalities of maintaining the status quo.
The rule of law cannot exist when, in any way, justice is shaded to the victim's general righteousness, nor should the quality of that victim's grievance before the bar of justice be diminished by some diffuse notion held by a judge that testimonial evidence is "eviscerated" when those who have already been marginalized by the courts, the police, and the larger society are invited to speak to the matter at bar. The misunderstanding of such fundamental principles is one of the primary means by which defense attorneys have historically elicited not guilty verdicts from juries, and it is appalling that any judge, extensively trained and long in experience, would allow such tactics by defense counsel to have any impact whatsoever on trial outcome. To the extent that Justice Cooperman is certainly not alone in permitting his court to become a proving ground for the character and quality of victims and their witnesses, the courts of this land allow themselves to become yet one more formidable wall by which law enforcement authorities deter citizens from seeking redress within the justice system.
That a sitting judge would be so essentially, fundamentally flawed in reasoning that he would incorporate into adjudication his own biases, shaped as they are by his own socio-economic standing, is outrageous on its face. That he would actually speak in his opinion of how he found wanting and thereby suspect the words and demeanor of the prosecution witnesses speaks not only to his classist mentality, but also to a deeper elitism inconsistent both with proper judicial temperament and, indeed, with any claim to legitimacy as a representative of a society that poses to render equal justice for all.
A trial court finds facts; it then applies the law to those facts it has derived from material, circumstantial, and testimonial evidence.
The judge's finding of facts was wrong: it was wrong because he found facts based upon the divergence of his preconceived expectations of testimony from the reality of those providing that testimony whose degraded experience in the society and with the courts had already individually and historically marginalized them.
The verdicts in this case were not examples of the rule of law protecting society and its enduring principles; these acquittals of policemen who used 50 bullets to butcher an unarmed, innocent man were the pernicious rule of an elite advancing the interests of his own class.
Res ipsa loquitur: the thing speaks for itself.
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
Wrote rm hitchens:
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