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'The system works.' Really? For who?
“But racism is more than prejudice. It is, rather, the system by which prejudice is encoded into the laws and customs of a society so that, to take an example not quite at random.”— Leonard Pitts, Jr.
The hard work of community activists and angry family members over Ahmaud Arbery’s killing and the system’s initial failure to bring his killers to justice eventually spurred changes to Georgia law and a criminal indictment for the first prosecutor to touch the case.
The guilty verdict then drew immediate reactions Wednesday from lawmakers, who praised the ruling but also called for criminal justice reform and said there was more work to be done.
But some, including Pres. Joe Biden, claim that the verdicts in the two trials prove that the “justice system works.”
Pres. Biden kept playing the same note over and over…
Who was he trying to convince? The incarcerated 2.3 million people, mostly poor and people of color languishing in prison this holiday system or their families? The Black and Latino jurists who were systematically excluded from serving on the two juries?
I doubt that they’re buying it.
If indeed the justice system is “doing its job”, that job must include: 1) overcriminalization and mass incarceration, especially of Black youth 2) facilitating the lack of accountability for police killings and abuse, 3) making the cost of cash bail and good legal defense prohibitive and out of the reach for most poor and working families.
Even after Arbery's 3 killers basically admitted their crime to local police, prosecutors still worked to head off their arrests and indictments. If not for the video leak, they would have likely succeeded. That was also the case of George Floyd’s killer, Derek Chauvin, and that of Chicago cop, JasonVan Dyke who murdered Laquan McDonald.
Author, Moustafa Bayoumi
“The jury reached the right verdict – even as the criminal justice system did everything it could to exonerate the three men.” — Guardian
Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D-Ga.)
…called the verdict accountability but not “true justice,” saying that real justice “looks like a Black man not having to worry about being harmed — or killed — while on a jog.” — WaPo
Adam Serwer writes…
Three men were found guilty of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. That’s not surprising. What’s surprising is that the trial happened at all…To say the system worked, in this case, is like saying your car made it home—after your entire family had to get out and push it miles down a dirt road." — The Atlantic
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