In this modern era, where the media plays a critical role in the public perception of a capital murder defendant, and jurors are rarely sequestered, the race of a victim, will either inspire racist tactics by cops and prosecutors – to win a conviction. Or, stage a fraudulent gesture of leniency toward a defendant whose life hangs in the balance of Criminal (In) Justice.
Jury discrimination; abuse of discretion; prosecutorial misconduct; just a few examples of legal terminology that define the scales of justice a weapon of mass destruction. If the victim is of Caucasian descent, an African-American defendant will more than likely be portrayed as some type of menacing gorilla; a hulking monster that lives to kill.
In one particular North Carolina case, these words were printed in a go-to media publication, during the trial of an African-American male: “WTF U NEED A TRIAL FOR? HANG THAT MONKEY.” “I say kill him right now. I will do it myself.” “Why even have a trial and waste my hard earned tax dollars on this scumbag? He should have been hung before sundown on the day of his arrest.”
This brand of furor should never reach the eyes and ears of jurors as they exercise their civic duties. However, most trial judges in North Carolina choose to trust that a human being can shut down the senses of sight and sound at the mere mention or visualization of the media’s interpretation of the current capital murder trial he/she may be attending as a juror.
Darryl Hunt was released from prison on December 24, 2003. From December 2007 – May 2008, the releases of Jonathan Hoffman, Glen Chapman, and Levon “Bo” Jones followed. Three of the four served time on North Carolina’s death row. Combined, the four African-American males served 60 years for crimes they did not commit. Each of them had faced all – or nearly all – white juries. This is far from criminal justice reform.
W2TM is a platform that enhances the compassion and rationale of human species left to believe justice is blind, and evenly served from the proverbial balanced scales dangling from the fingers of “Lady Justice.” In the span of six years and four months, W2TM has been the manifestation of the counter-culture behavior that sweeps away the judicial trickery-providing an unencumbered view of the ever-growing rates off mass incarceration, as well as the unsettling numbers of lives being eradicated by the state’s practices of death-dealing.
This W2TM movement will continue to bring clarity when racial injustice is accepted as the norm, and cops are supported by the law when they choose to upgrade their responsibility to “protect and serve” civilians, to that of judge, jury, and executioner, for those they deem unworthy of their protection.
It seems to me, viewing life through a civilized eye entails seeing the humanity in the people we trust to be impartial. A traffic stop or capital murder trial can become uncivilized in the blink of an eye. We can only begin to see the real when the dust clears. W2TM remains dust free.
Holla if ya hear me,
Copyright © 2017 by Leroy Elwood Mann