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“but Occifer, I only had tee martoonnies!”
I spent 5 hours at DUI court Friday. Jesus forgives all, but you still have to do the time for the crime here in the world. There were 120 cases brought before the judge that session. If that is how many cases were presented in one court session, and not all the drunk drivers are caught, how many people are under the influence on the roads today? God protect us from the impaired, they are legion. .
Would you believe that people show up for court on their second DUI wearing the shirt from their favorite bar? No kidding, for real! One fellow had a St. Patrick’s day shirt with a picture of a beer can, while another guy advertised for a local tap room. If cameras were allowed I would make a gallery for you of people who just do not “get it”.
Out of the approximately 120 cases, 7 pleaded guilty, including my friend. This either means that in almost 94% of the cases brought there were gross mistakes of identity, improper police procedure, mechanical failure of breathalyser tubes or hospital blood alcohol tests, or you are pleading not guilty because the system is designed for you to do so.
The Judge did everything he could to talk these 7 people out of pleading guilty. He told them he would not accept their plea unless he was sure the defendant understood their rights, the consequences of the plea, the penalties of the crime, and the lack of appeal afterwards. This was explained to them all as a group and to each individually. Judge Toole did a fine job of explaining all this. One thing however was not brought up. The Truth.
Never mentioned in the proceedings, having no relevance I could see, were the facts. If you were consuming alcohol or mind altering substance before or during the operation of a motor vehicle, you broke the law. If you broke the law there is a penalty. That would be a justice system. We do not have a justice system in this country, we have a legal system. The major difference is that in a legal system, justice is almost blind to the truth, blinded by the far more important legalities of the system.
The famous example I heard of this for years is the ” Trunk lid malfunction”. There for a while in the 60’s, during a routine traffic stop, the trunk of the car would mysteriously spring open. There were occasions where this phenomenon resulted in the officer seeing a shipment of drugs in the trunk, and brought about a an arrest leading to a conviction. Now we have probable cause laws and the result is that Police now ask, may I look in your trunk. If you do not wish them to look there, they will not, until the drug dog is called, barks at the trunk, and gives probable cause.
As much as I value individual rights, it seems that the whole of the system has turned into cops vs. lawyers. The cop writes up the charge and the lawyer picks it apart. Truth of the action is of great concern for the police officer, but not for the attorney. I feel this is proven by the system itself. We have a charge called ‘ false arrest’ that face police who would overstep their bounds, but there is no charge of ‘false defense ‘ for defendants and attorneys that seek to obfuscate the truth to their own ends. Any sort of behavior seems acceptable in defense of legal charges. If a man says I didn’t do it, and you have absolute proof he did it, is not this lying perjury? No, not in defense. Overhearing the privileged attorney client conversations in the back of the room was quite enlightening.
So my honest friend will spend time in jail, pay huge fines and court costs, loose the ability to apply for a license to drive for over one year, [ he quit driving after the incident until such time he could trust his own sobriety] and be on probation afterward. All of this is balanced out by being able to say, “I told the Truth.”
Jesus taught us that the truth will set us free. This does not mean a “get out of jail free” card issued to Christians, it means that even in prison we are free from the chains and bondage of lies and the father of lies. We walk in the light even in the dark places. My friend said, “There must be something for me to do in jail.” If only all of us had that Kingdom Mission mindedness. In Truth, we all have something to do, where ever it is that God sends us.
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