By David Glenn Cox
Are you unhappy with the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict? So am I. But more to the point, are you surprised by the verdict? Kelly Thomas was beaten to death on a city street for the crime of homelessness and talking back to a policeman. Because his killers were policemen, the city sanctioned their actions, paid out huge judgements and then fired them. Under the color of law, they were simply interrogating a suspect. Under closer scrutiny they were just out, fucking with a homeless guy because it was a slow night, and they were bored.
I served on a jury of a suspect accused of triple rape. I recommend jury service to everyone, but only once. Lest you get sucked into the system. I felt very fortunate, that the suspect in the case was so obviously guilty. Three days of DNA evidence, which narrowed it down to either the suspect, or one other possibility on planet earth. And what were the chances that he was in town that night, and his car also broke down less than a mile from the victim’s home? It was clear to me by the education and experience of the expert DNA witnesses. If the state wants to convict you, they’ll spare no expense.
But the state must prove it, and the tie goes to the runner. If we don’t respect the court and the law when it doesn’t go our way, we’re no better than Twumpers. I’m not an attorney; I’m unfamiliar with Wisconsin statues. But under our system of laws if they can’t prove it, they can’t convict. That doesn’t mean that I like it or that sometimes the law can even see justice from where it sits. In the O.J. Simpson case, someone brutally murdered Nicole Simpson. Obviously, the killer was angry at Ms. Simpson and left a footprint of $5,000 Bruno Molly shoes in her blood.
Her killer was angry. Her killer was affluent and owned a pair of shoes, just like her ex-husband did. Doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter. See the prosecution claimed a leather glove found in the yard was the suspects. The defense claimed that didn’t fit the suspect. Me, being a former morning paper boy understood. That if you leave your leather gloves outside overnight in the weather, they’ll shrink. Duh, the knife went to Chicago in his golf bag. There, I solved the case.
Bernhard Goetz, not be confused with accused pedophile Matt Gaetz. Shot four men on the New York subway with an illegal handgun in 1984. The case turned on a single phrase, “You don’t look so bad, have another.” Goetz then shot a man again, who was already wounded and on the floor. Goetz claimed the men were trying to rob him, and it was self-defense. If Goetz had not shot a wounded man, he would have walked. If he had kept his mouth shut, he would have walked. He was convicted by the words from his own mouth.
Being an old fart, I sometimes forget that many of you aren’t old farts…yet. Encapsulated by age, I forget you were hiding in the ether and weren’t available for new book releases of the 1970s. I have used two quotes by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn from his book “The Gulag Archipelago.” An amusing little first-person tale of life in one of Stalin’s forced labor camps. How you got there, how you were prosecuted and how you served out your sentence.
Solzhenitsyn was arrested and jailed for Anti-Soviet Activity. As an officer in the army, he was marched off to jail with a private carrying his luggage. Dystopic much? When you are interrogated, don’t confess too quickly under torture. They will only assume you must have more to hide, if you’ll confess to a serious crime so easily. The policeman or bluecaps, worked under a quota system and better confessions make for better advancement opportunities. Why settle for a petty theft conviction, if you could be motivated to admit that you were a part of an organized Anti-Soviet gang of wreckers?
Solzhenitsyn’s crime was in writing a letter to a friend. He praised his soldiers for their courage, and said that despite shortages his men were performing splendidly. But he referred to Joe Stalin as “the bearded one” and was sentenced to ten years in prison for it. He didn’t attend his trial; he wasn’t invited, but they told him it was nice. When they read his sentence aloud to him through the bars of his cell. He was consoled by the fifteen or twenty other men in the cell, about to be sentenced to prison in the same way.
The bitter taste of injustice becomes your daily bread. The law says you are guilty, even if justice says that you are not. The law says that you are not guilty, even if justice says that you are. Solzhenitsyn’s message is that injustice and oppression are a constant. That most of us are only willing to get outraged by it, after we are convicted of it. Socrates was offed a chance to flee Athens and escape his death sentence. He declined the offer saying, he did not protest the unjustness of the law before he was convicted. How would it look if he ran away now?
It would have been better for Kyle in the long run, to have received a five- or ten-year sentence. He would have emerged from prison approaching twenty-five or thirty of age. The hoopla would have died down and he could have gotten a job and maybe led a semi-normal life. Instead, every traffic ticket will be national news. Never knowing, if someone at the bar recognizes him and wants to take a poke at him. A freak show poster child, a wooden Jobu idol for the gun nuts and insurrectionists. “Tee Hee, our side won! Two men are dead, but our side won!”
The autographs are fifteen dollars each, but if you are an NRA member, you can get both George Zimmerman’s and Kyle’s for twenty-five.
Rest assured; Kyle has escaped law but hasn’t escaped justice. The law found him not guilty, but justice has issued a life sentence for the gulag. He is now and always will be… a freak. An oddity and a curiosity, the bearded lady, George Zimmerman’s roommate or the amazing monkey boy.
“Let us not forget that violence does not and cannot exist by itself; it is invariably intertwined with the lie. They are linked in the most intimate, most organic and profound fashion: violence cannot conceal itself behind anything except lies, and lies have nothing to maintain them save violence. Anyone who has once proclaimed violence as his method must inexorably choose the lie as his principle.”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn