The gut wrenching and tear jerking story carried by CNN on September 1st 2016 regarding clemency granted by President Obama to Sharanda Jones, shines a damning light on the underbelly of a justice system in America that reeks of a stinking stench which, prior to this becoming broad knowledge, would be enough to trigger convulsive vomiting and dysentery. It underscores a constitution that is replete with cracks in its judicial system, deliberately and strategically focused in underprivileged areas to “capture” minorities, but with a specific agenda to bring in Black youngsters primarily, for servitude, to feed the greed of super wealthy capitalist enterprises. It stands as a testament of how the penal system has postured itself to pit one against the other in this country, with a mandate to imprison them in droves and to level extreme sentences as harsh as life imprisonment, based only on hypothesis where there is no hard core evidence. But more so, it reflects a sector of the population as being straight up unethical psychopaths who are simply the prophetic underdogs driven by fear and insecurity. This fear mentality has its genesis deeply steeped in guilt carried over from slavery, and the harsh penal existence that it meted out to human beings based solely on the color of their skin.
To add credence to this claim would be to site the “Cash for Kids” case which unfolded in Pennsylvania in 2009 where judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan were sentenced to prison for accepting bribery to impose unjustified extended sentences to juveniles in a racketeering bid to fill a newly built detention center, primarily for profit. These kids ranging from as young as 12, committed minor infractions such as cursing out a student but were none the less imposed with lengthy detention time. Judge Mark Ciavarella was actually more deeply involved than just bribery. He was party to the building of the facility which paid him a finder’s fee of $2.2 Million. So corrupted was this operation that 2,480 of Ciavarella’s convictions were reversed and expunged. In 2011 Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years and his cohort Conahan got 17 years. This epitomizes white collar conspiracy of the highest order and makes pale, anything in civil society that falls short of murder.
However, despite prosecutors’ lack of hard evidence, Sharanda Jones, in all honesty did fess up to some of these allegations with regards to drug trafficking, albeit not enough to warrant life imprisonment without parole and being reduced to a life in chains and shackles as a newfangled slave, especially given the fact that federal sentencing guidelines stipulates a 24 year maximum sentence for nonviolent drug dealing crimes, such as those committed by her.
Like nature’s weeds that spring from every garden, crime continues to proliferate while hardened criminals remain evasive. And though social science points to what may, under severe circumstances be considered plausible reasons for petty crimes, such as stealing due to hunger, it is evident that the dark side of man has a propensity for wrong doing. It is the external trumped up religion imposed Satan that we fear, that seems to dwell inside all of us.
The Caribbean should take note of the pardoning of inmates who continue to cost tax payers more than their keep in prison, and give thought to the grand opportunity to impose maximum monetary penalty for nonviolent ganja related issues, especially where judges can be more sensitive to context along with their uncanny ability to differentiate between subjects.
Publisher Kotch Magazine www.kotchmagazine.com