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February 19, 2022

Was Justice Served?

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.

The word justice is being thrown around a lot today.

Two headlining news stories have created another divide in an already divided country.

Justice is defined by the Oxford dictionary as a just behavior or treatment as in “a concern for justice, peace and a general respect for people”.

Let’s take a look at the first story. Kim Potter, a veteran white police officer was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced today to two years in prison for the death of Duante Wright, a young black man, during a traffic stop. Ms. Potter claimed she accidentally pulled out her Glock 9mm service pistol instead of her taser. During sentencing the judge called this a tragic mistake. Many others contend this 26 year veteran would have known the difference between her pistol and her taser before firing. No matter which side you take, the judge decided the taking of Mr. Wright’s life was only worth 2 years of Ms. Potter’s life.

The second headline doesn’t involve the taking of a physical life but the ruining of 2 people’s life dreams. Black Olympic runner, Cha’Carri Richardson was expected to participate in the summer games of 2021. but was eliminated from competition due to a positive test for cannabis. Kamila Valieva, a 15 year old Russian figure skater, who was expected to win it all in the current 2022 Winter Olympics tested positive for a performance enhancing drug but was allowed to continue in the competition. Many are sighting Kamala’s age as justification while Cha’Carri’s fans call out hypocrisy.

Duante Wright’s family and friends will be grieving and missing him and contemplating what he would have accomplished if he had not been killed that night.

Neither the runner or the skater took home a medal and the dreams they sacrificed so much for will never be realized.

Was justice served in either of these stories? Do the standards our society uses to determine the value of a person’s life and dreams need to be reevaluated? Are we too quick to judge before hearing all the circumstances and choosing sides?

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as judge in the field of truth and knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the Gods.”

-Albert Einstein.

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