IMPRISONMENT AND POVERTY
There is a correlation between imprisonment and poverty anywhere in the world. An accused contracts legal services but has nothing to give except promises and a pitiful demeanor, he gets poor defense preparation. In the court of law, poor defense is no defense at all. As a matter of fact, given all the technical provisions of our judicial system, it is even fatal. And what happens is that when the side of the accused has not been properly covered by a defensive line in jurisprudence, not given an alert response even from the bench vis a vis charges, then it is as certain as day and night, conviction will follow.
This is not an exceptional situation. It is even presumed that this situation is more prevalent, more widespread and ubiquitous. And why not? Litigation is expensive. Attending a court hearing is even more depressing economically. It rubs salt to a wound. It is painful and dehumanizing, never mind humiliation. It is better to be convicted and get it on than maintain innocence without proper competent representation.
While there are always reliefs in the judiciary, the discovery of truth is excruciatingly slow and tedious. The number of acquittal stares a prison administrator in the eye. After years of serving time in prison, at times more than a decade or a summer less than a decade, cases of acquittal would disturb the headcount in the prison community. Somewhere within the community of convicts, one realizes, is someone without guilt at all.
Universe is bothered in such a situation. Humanity suddenly is reduced to anxiety. If it is indeed something that does not exempt an innocent to be lumped into a crowded place for the guilty, then God forbid what is in store for mankind in terms of acquiring justice. There is no guarantee is this life when truth should be understood as passport for freedom, let alone the basis for purity is measured through evidence. While evidence can be manufactured and bended, truth cannot. Yet evidence weighs more than any truth speculated.
The country’s, or any country for that matter, legal system pales when confronted with an incident requiring appreciation of a case. At times, truth is nowhere unless volunteered. It is always evidence which is oftentimes at the behest of the resourceful and those with resources that is always invoked. The poor is usually at the bottom of a merciful round.
In prison, one cannot determine the guilty from innocent except in instances when the courts would issue a verdict on exoneration. It is only then that a prison officer is unsettled for treating everyone as a stereotype or statistic on criminality.
Verily, truth lies deep under the ground where poverty is lurking. Poverty buries the truth no matter what. Make poverty the main agenda to be eradicated and we have freed the truth. Truth will not make anyone free unless it is given a life of its own. Without concern for progress, good governance and a dedication for searching the truth, there one remaining act that must be done: construct more prisons.