My wife, Becky, and I attended the Freedom Rally yesterday outside of the Arizona House of Representatives in Phoenix. I felt dwarfed by the horrors that people told of the masses of people incarcerated wrongfully. Parents, grandparents, and people who had spent years in prison--wrongfully convicted--spoke of their loved ones and "the others" (innocent people their loved ones had met in prison). We took pictures and I'm going to put together a short video slideshow of the day.
What struck me the most was not that the error happened, but the attempts to force the error to be true in spite of overwhelming facts that a wrong had been committed. Gloria Killian works tirelessly to help the "victims of justice" after spending 16 years in prison despite overwhelming evidence that she committed no crime. She was abused by the justice system even after her conviction was overturned with prejudice for the injustice caused her. Mary Ellen DiGiacom spoke there as well. Another woman victimized by the relentless War On Americans launched as part of America's need to provide service sector jobs.
The parents of Courtney Bisbee spoke about their tireless efforts to free their daughter from County Attorney Andrew Thomas' blood-lust. Like Dracul The Impaler (Dracula), Thomas' flaunts his victims. Abusing Mandatory Minimum Sentencing laws, he routinely strips local residents (ordinary people who have never been arrested) of their identity, their freedom, and even their lives. On a quest to build a political resume, he shows no sign of mercy for those he is elected to protect. I listened to others who spoke of Thomas' House of Horror that Maricopa County has become.
The parents of Mike Lubas did not speak at the microphone because of their terror that anything they said could return as retaliation on their son. They too are a family that has given their life's savings to lawyers able to charge exorbitant fees in this malignant guilty until proven innocent system of justice. I wish I could have told them they were wrong. I wish I could have reassured them of the fairness that exists, re-affirmed their 1st Amendment rights, and told them that they live in a country that does not oppress those who speak for freedom. But, I just looked on, nodding my head in agreement at their pain and disillusionment.
I spoke about how greed, corruption, and special interests control much of America's justice system. I talked about the number of things all of us, ordinary citizens with no prior history with the law, shared in common. I want to share those thoughts with you.
1. Every one believed in our system the justice system and its ability to do the right thing.
2. No one realized that predatory prosecutors can control the courts by using mandatory minimum sentencing as a weapon against ordinary citizens.
3. None of us realized that mandatory minimum sentencing was to be used against ordinary citizens who had never been arrested.
4. All of us were shocked to discover defense attorneys matched their fees to the fear of defendants, rather than the fair and reasonable fees of other professionals.
5. All of us were shocked at the illicit lengths that those in the justice system would go to prove they acted correctly. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence, even after a higher court overturned a lower court, and even after the real guilty parties were caught, the nightmare continued.
6. All of us are in shock, almost speechless, now that we are awake to the truth. After a lifetime of believing the America’s Justice System, to see it for what it truly has become overwhelms our every thought. This isn’t the America we learned about in school. We live in a different place.
Having once been asleep, maybe like you are now, we scream for others to awaken. It’s a long, tough battle, but you are worth it. Those at the Freedom Rally ask you to look. Be skeptical by all means, but just take a long hard look. Read some books written by people who are not victims of the system, but are sickened by it. Those experts love their country too, and they wrote those books to help you see how at risk you are at this moment. The Internet is a fabulous tool and websites will guide you to articles a plenty. My website has a page of links. Attend a trial or two.
After millions of wrongs in the name of expediency and greed, a critical mass of victims now exists. They are a network that can help you awaken too. Walk away from the television set. It is lulling you into a hypnotic daze. Drugged, you can’t see that our precious system of laws and justice so many have died to protect is not just broken, it has become predatory.