She's blind. She carries a sword and a balance. The sword to impart swift punishment for wrongs that have been committed, and the balance to weigh out recompense to right those wrongs.
What, then, would you think our lady Justice might say an eleven year old girl's physical integrity is worth? What might Justice say the punishment should be for the rape of a young girl? How much does that impartial lady take in order to balance that scale, to right that wrong?
A year. No, LESS than a year.
The jury reached a verdict today in the local trial of Eddie Scott, a former college football player accused of, and on trial for, the rape of an eleven year old runaway girl in July of 2006. The girl is said to have been raped by up to eight men that day, although only Eddie and one other, Mackey Davis, were charged. Davis plead to a lesser charge and a reduced sentence (less than one year in jail) in return for his testimony against Scott. After a grueling trial though, the jury ruled that the lack of physical evidence (there was no DNA evidence linking Scott to the girl, nor any other witness testimony placing Scott with the runaway), combined with the relatively weak testimony of Davis weren't sufficient to prove Scott's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
There was no discussion as to why none of the other six men in the apartment that day were charged--either with rape, or as accessories.
It's a fishy story: eight men in an apartment, and a girl is raped (by perhaps two men, but by as many as eight). One participant is charged, and testifies against another (who gets off) in exchange for a slap on the hand. None of the others are implicated (despite the fact that Scott admits that he saw the girl being taken to a back room by two of the men, and that he later saw the girl performing illicit acts with one of the men).
And after all is said and done, Justice says that the rape of an eleven year old girl is worth less than a year in jail.
And with that, the scales of justice are once again in balance.
And life continues, with all once again right in the world.
Is that Justice? Have the scales really been balanced, or have we deluded ourselves into believing so? Shouldn't a violated eleven year old at least have the consolation of feeling as though a jury of her peers deemed her violated body more valuable than a measly year?
Justice is not meant to right wrongs, I think; otherwise, this could not have happened. Justice is meant to make the masses feel better about society as a whole.
And THAT--THAT'S a travesty.