Friday, February 12, 2016

But Joe has a hotshot lawyer: an analogy

Jim Hagarty

February 6 at 4:59pm ·


So Joe stole money from me. I know he stole it, he knows he stole it. But I keep talking to Joe when I see him because I know he will never pay me back. That's just the way he is, the way it is. I could hate Joe for the rest of my life, but that would hurt me, not him. I like him, basically, and decide to not leave cash lying around when I am with him. Life goes on. Nobody's perfect. Then I hear something disturbing. Joe's been stealing a lot of money from a lot of people. Some of those people were caused hardship by the loss of their money. Joe didn't care. Then Joe is charged. This is more serious than Joe stealing from me. He's hurt a lot of people and will carry on hurting them. Police come to me, having heard Joe stole from me. They ask me to co-operate in an investigation. I do. I long ago got over having lost a few bucks to Joe but if I stay quiet, I will be helping him to hurt others. I agree to testify. But Joe has a hotshot lawyer. And I am made a mess of in court. Didn't I keep hanging around with Joe even though he stole from me? Isn't it true that I joked with Joe that we should rob a bank? Isn't it true that I am free and careless with my money and have been known to blow some of it at the casino? Isn't it true that I once stole some coins from my brother's dresser when I was a kid? Isn't it true that I like to watch crime movies where the bad guy keeps getting away with robbing trains? Isn't it true that I overcharged a buyer on kijiji for an old printer I was selling, a printer that doesn't work very well? Isn't it true that I have been to a psychologist for counselling? Isn't it true that the Canada Revenue Agency questioned my 2013 return where I made a $570 "mistake" calculating my medical expenses? Other witnesses face the same grilling from the brilliant lawyer. Joe walks. But I don't want to see him any more. Nor his lawyer. Because I have been robbed by both of them now. And the justice system.

Note.  This was posted by one of my Facebook friends. I believe the story is a good analogy for what happened with Ghomeshi. The fact that his case was all twined around male-female inequity/power games and trampled sexual boundaries made it that much more murky and emotionally-charged, but even simplifying it to something much-less-fraught highlights the lunacy of the courtroom and its shallow grasp of the human condition. "Yes, but courtroom justice is the law of the land, and as imperfect as it is, it's all we have," people cry.  But "all we have" can CHANGE if we have the will to change it! If we don't and it never does, then it's a hopeless relic and will serve no one. Ever.

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