Saturday, December 10, 2005

Justice was Late, but it was Served

On his first full day of freedom in almost 25 years, Robert Clark was served grits, eggs, and a full plate of bacon. Robert Clark was arrested and convicted of rape in 1981 when he was 22. He was sentenced to two life terms, plus twenty years. After nearly 25 years of imprisonment, Robert Clark is a free man. DNA testing, which was not available at the time of his trial, has since proven his innocence. Today, he walks the streets of Atlanta for the first time in 25 years. As I read this story, it reminded me of the painful inequities of the American judicial system. America is a great country and I thank God for it and my life in it. However, the God I thank for America is also the God that requires us to do justice and to love the right. In America, too often justice is not right. How often have the rich been wrongly imprisoned? How often do the advantaged in our society find themselves languishing on death rows? Wrongful imprisonments are saved for the poor, the disenfranchised, the disadvantaged - too often for black men. In the case of Robert Clark, one can only wonder where he would be if the woman, whom he was accused of raping, had died. His portion would probably have been the death penalty, and this day would not be in our discussion. Thank God she did not die. Thank God justice, though late in coming, has been served. I can only wonder how many disadvantaged, poor, black men are on death row wrongly accused and prosecuted, hoping that justice would one day be served. Something tells me that in most of their cases, the stove has not even been warmed up.

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