The Blog

Poetic (In)justice: A First World Threat

Somewhere between not guilty and innocent lies the concept of first world justice: legal vengeance and the lawful right to revenge. Justice is proving the point when there is no point to prove. It is crime without punishment. It is to administer bullying without accepting the blame.

It is what prevails when unanimity fails.

Justice is what happens when victims are made guilty of the crimes committed against them. When the wound is culpable instead of the weapon. When the slain are found guilty of their slaughter. When the mother's vagina is blamed for the rape that bore her an illegitimate daughter. When girly ways are blamed for the bashing of gays. When people are classified as property. When the persecuted are prosecuted, it is considered justice.

It is two murder convictions out of a possible five. It is five guilty white guys claiming one innocent black life.

It is the 2.5-mile journey from truant to trial. It is to abduct, torture, mutilate and murder a two-year-old child in an act of "unparalleled evil and barbarity". To weight his head with stones, lay his little body across rail tracks so that it is severed by a train. To accuse and arraign them only to be handed a lifelong licence rather than a life sentence. For child killers to be rewarded with anonymity and dead children always to be named as if those who once lived were never anything but dead.

To safeguard the murderer's identity instead of safeguarding the children they subject to sadism and sodomy. It is an unwarranted tag of infamy. It is the crooked claim to notoriety.

It drops fishplates to fracture skulls and fishes the dead body of a 'dirty, filthy, violent vagrant' from the River Aire. Death without dignity and life without culpability, it is the 70 year old man that was old enough to commit the crime but far too old to serve the time.

It is not a single visitor yet several mourners. To be routinely hunted, found sleeping rough in shop doorways in the early hours of the morning, beaten, urinated on, have your head repeatedly smashed into the sidewalk and struck with the steel toe-capped boots and batons assigned to sergeant Ken Kitching and Inspector Geoff Ellerker. Justice is the grace of God that freed those two humans to behave without their humanity and call it 'penance'.

It is - as David Oluwale was once deemed, having 'fallen by the wayside' - defective and 'feeble-minded'.

In 1953, after becoming involved in an altercation with police, 33 year old David Oluwale was struck in the head with a truncheon; later he was sentenced to two months imprisonment. While serving his sentence, judged to be acting strangely, Oluwale was admitted to High Royds Hospital, a psychiatric asylum in Menston, South Yorkshire. Under the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913, he remained there for the next eight years on a combination of drugs including Largactil and in receipt of Electro Convulsion Therapy (ECT) in the hope that his brain (not his life) might shut down and start again on a better route.

Oluwale was released back into the community in 1961. Following years of sleeping rough, and an intense campaign of police brutality he was found dead, floating in the River Aire on April 9th 1969.

The cause of his death?! British Justice.

On the orders of the presiding judge, charges of manslaughter against both Kitching and Ellerker were dropped during trial. Institutional racism would only be diagnosed in 1998 with an inquiry by Sir William Macpherson into the death of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, who like Oluwale and 17 year old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida fled (on foot; not in theory) the first world justice that eventually caught and claimed all of their black lives.

Freedom, fairness, equality, diversity and accountability are all obstructions of justice; pervert the course of justice and seem to not be in the interests of justice, which is little more than a misnomer for the curse of commerce that made third world countries into first world colonies leaving many who begun as stowaways to become sentenced, sectioned and eventually silenced by the first world justice system.

The right to suffer and inflict wrongdoing, justice is not translucent it is tenuous and it is what happens when the morally unjust just is.