Guilty or not Guilty…

The other day our consul and I went to attend a hearing. One of the nationals of the embassy I am working is facing a drug trafficking charge. The accused was a fine young lady, in her early twenty’s. I was expecting for an older one but when I saw her I couldn’t imagine how such a very young lady full of potentials ended in such a complicated case. I went through the case file and based on it the lady was hired to transport a bag for a substantial payment not knowing what is inside it. The good thing was when the raid happened she was only there in the room but no drugs was taken from her nor she was involved in the on going transaction, Im just hoping that sooner the case against her will be dismissed.

Im on my third year law studies but this was my first to attend and witness an actual trial. We stood outside the courtroom waiting for our national to be called. As we stood there along with about 50 other accused; seeing these people touched me somehow.

I admit, I’m never compassionate with criminals I always pushed for harsh punishment, but today I felt different. I do not see the lawlessness in them, I don’t feel the anger but only compassion and pity. I could feel the burden they are now carrying.

The court room is like a lottery place, where in one will come in to draw his/her fate. An accused enters with so much worry in his/her face and as he/she comes out again, every one was trying to read the facial expression. Some came out with tears in their eyes and then later on would jump for joy, “My case was dismissed by the judge for repeated failure of prosecution to present the witness. Im going home soon to my family” said a middle-aged woman. I went on to congratulate her, and told her, never to comeback in this place, and she replied with a smile, I wont, its not easy…

Same routine happened for the next hours, some were happy some where not. Our national’s case was finally called but was reset to another day due to absence of prosecution witness.

As I look into these people I was asking my self, what made this people commit such as crime (the court is a drug court). I felt so lonely at the sight of some accused whose families are there, taking that brief time to hug each other, have their kids sit on their lap.

I was wondering what was running into the minds of those children, were they curious why their dad or mom is hand cuffed?

At that juncture, I came to realize that they are not all to be blamed with the mess. I came to agree with the point of view, that a crime is a product of social indifference. It is a failure of the society itself. Sometimes we are too focused on getting and making the best for ourselves forgetting the needs of other members of the society. Individualism, and survival of the fittest mentality destroys the unity and camaraderie that should be the prime virtue of a society. One should be mutually aiding each other. But today we don’t bother to think for the welfare of others for as long as we receive our good paycheck and all other luxuries.

These people are often forced to resort to illegal activity such as drug trafficking/sale due to the fact that they could not get a job. Not that they are lazy as many would claim it, but no body wants to give them a job. Why? One reason is that, they are not educated, they were not able to study, some did not even finish elementary, why? They don’t value education? No, many just cant afford it, or simply there is no school in their area. Let us admit in this country even in public schools many cannot afford to enter, some children are compelled to work as well for survival.

We don’t have to serve everything in a silver plate, we don’t have to pamper them with dole outs, but we only need to help provide better opportunities for them.

As a society we should care and work as one. For like a human body, one part may seem to be less important than the other, but without it the body is not complete and will not function to its fullest-so with society. A single part malfunctioning, drags the entire body to illness.

Instead of condemning these people I guess we need to understand and dig deeper to the source of the problem, let us not just look into the crimes they have committed, let not our society be interested in proving only that indeed he has committed such crime and deserves a punishment, but let us inquire further why such crimes were committed-if genuine justice is so desired.

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