Monday, November 06, 2006

The scales tip.

Justitia, the goddess of justice, is the personification of the moral force that lies behind our legal system. In her right hand, She holds a double-edged sword that divides with the power of Reason in either direction simultaneously. In her left, she holds scales with which She measures the strengths of the case for and against. Her eyes are blindfolded, for justice does not see race, class, status or power.

It is a lie.

Today was the day that Codename P appeared in court to stand against the charge of harassment for vandalizing my car numerous times over the past year and a half. In that, I learned his "justification," as it were. The lot where I park was once his property. The city condemned it and then turned around and developed it as a parking lot for users of the Eliza Furnace Trail. Codename P apparently still owns the entryway and although there is a de facto easement, he believes that everyone who uses the lot is trespassing.

The evidence presented was pretty clear. The photo I took was undeniable and his lawyer offered no defense or denial except to say that he wouldn't do it again.

And with that, the charges were dropped. I must have had something of a disbelieving look on my face because the judge said to me:

"If he was a young man, I would have found him guilty and fined him."

But because he was 70 years old, she let him off with the promise that he not do it again. And, in saying what she said, the judge let me know that if it were me doing the exact same thing to his car, I would have been punished to the fullest extent of the law. I would have thought the scales would tip in the opposite direction. A 70 year old man should be wise and experienced enough to know that his actions have consequences and a young man might be forgiven for his youthful ignorance.

In this case, the Judge explicitly told me that justice is not blind, nor is it applied equally.

And so, I suppose it is over. The case is technically still open for 90 days should he break his promise but, after that, it will simply go away. As if it never happened.

The scales hang unbalanced.

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