The Jury Ain’t That Grand

scalesSo here’s the thing, the media has conditioned us over the years to believe that a grand jury is the epitome of justice. They make it seem as if they hold value intrinsic to equalizing the deployment of justice when justice may go un-served, but the reality of the situation is that it’s just as flawed as the justice system is.

It takes the same biased people that would serve on a transparent jury and asks them to figure out if a person should be charged with a certain crime, but with no transparency.

Like all other things in a racially biased society like the one that we live in, those types of biases seep into every aspect of our system. From hiring practices (Google racism in hiring practices or black sounding name biases), to loans for houses (Google racial bias in subprime loans), to Redlining (Google the term redlining), read The New Jim Crow so that you better understand the racist practices behind mass incarceration, and so on.

What you’ll realize is that racist people control all these institutions therefore they are proliferated with racist thought and biased outcomes, the grand jury is no different than an all white jury of your so-called peers.

As a matter of fact, its even worse, because the defendant doesn’t even get a chance to present his/her side of the story, it’s just the prosecutor in the vast majority of the cases presenting them with the evidence that they feel is good enough to bring a case to trial. It sounds good on the surface, but when you add the fact that the prosecutor has a racial bias, and the grand jury participants have a racial bias, how exactly do we expect the outcome to be non-biased!?

We been conditioned to believe that a “jury” of our “peers” is the perfect way to deliver justice, that the outcome of every single case is in the hands of people that only listen to what the law says and don’t bring any of their biases into the courtroom with them, but the truth of the matter is that it’s almost impossible to check your biases at the door and its been proven time and time again when we see grand juries refusing to indict racist police officers, that murder unarmed Black men, women and children, with the latest being Tamir Rice. A young Black child playing with a pellet gun, who was gunned down within seconds of police officers arriving on the scene. Yet we’ve witnessed grown white men that have engaged with shoot outs with the police being taken into custody alive. How do we quantify that with reason and logic, if justice is supposed to blind and harbor no racial bias? How do we rationalize the fact that a police officer was caught on tape administering a banned maneuver; banned by the police and governmental body, the chokehold, but a grand jury felt that it was a justifiable act?

The law stated that police officers were never supposed to use the chokehold when trying to apprehend a suspect, yet a grand jury sat in a room and came to the conclusion that it was ok and justifiable for the officer to use it on a Black man (Eric Garner) that was panhandling cigarettes! How exactly do we rationalize that a police officer broke the LAW in doing what he did; yet it’s viewed as a justifiable offense, unless racial bias is brought into the picture.

Once you add racism, then it all makes sense, it makes sense that a racist would view a big Black man as a threat!

It makes sense that a Black kid with a pellet gun is a cold-blooded killer just waiting to kill someone, if I’m viewing him through racist eyes!

It makes sense that a Black man (John Crawford) walking through a store that sells toy guns is immediately shot by police officers without them checking to see if the gun was real or fake if we add the fact that the officers who shot him were racially biased or flat out racist!

This is the only way that any of these things can make any sense, period!

I can go on and on saying what makes sense but I hope that you get the picture!

And the reality of the situation is that, a group of white individuals sitting in a room where there is no transparency at all, who harbor racial biases, will in most cases see nothing wrong with a police officer, who has supposedly been sworn “to protect the people and the law” killing and unarmed Black man, woman or child.

At every turn of events we are reminded of this!

I believe that if we continue to use Grand Jury’s they need to be transparent, ALL the testimony MUST be available to the public!

The reason why they claim that they are not made public is for the safety of the witnesses that come forward, but the reality of the situation is that they can at anytime redact the names of the witnesses that testified as well as the names of the grand jury members, therefore making the safety argument moot!

They make them private and allow the prosecutor to have free reign because they know that any half way competent prosecutor will be able to convince a grand jury that a prosecutable crime has been committed, as long as there is no defense present and they actually want to bring a case to court. If they don’t want to actually prosecute, the grand jury will almost always come back with no indictment!

It’s playing out right in front of our eyes right now, for the world to see!

 

One thought on “The Jury Ain’t That Grand

  1. I saw the details of your post displayed so clearly during the Trayvon Martin trial. As I watched hours of the footage on CNN, it became very clear that even if there were those who wanted to see true justice prevail, their hands were tied because of the way their laws were written, and the ways those leaders in power chose how they wanted to influence and interpret those laws in Trayvon’s particular case.

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