When I was jailed for telling a judge I disapprove of his actions, I had plenty of time at night, alone in my cell, to think and write. During the day I spent most of my time talking with inmates and jailers, which ultimately lead to this post.
You’re Responsible (Period) by Ademo
(Written while serving 16 days for telling a judge I disapproved of his actions.)
Let’s pretend for a minute – say Person A and Person B have never met before, yet, life has brought them face to face for the moment. During their encounter, Person A tells Person B a story of personal injustice. After hearing the story, Person B, who has the ability to verify the story, also suspects Person A has been wronged. Given the information provided by Person A (assuming Person B is in a position to help), is Person B responsible in any way for the injustice Person A faces if they fail or refuse to help Person A? Are they responsible if they actively help carry out that very injustice against Person A?
What if Person B was a police officer, and Person A was providing them information about a theft, rape or murder? Would the police officer be responsible (in part) if he failed to act on such information? Would the officer be held accountable if he helped someone commit such an act? If you knew your neighbor were a serial killer, and yet you did nothing, would you feel responsible for the lives that could have been saved if you’d taken action? What if it was the justice system itself that was failing you?
Take a moment to think about those questions. . .
This is the situation I’m currently facing (authors note: I’m no longer in jail, I was released after 16 days), while serving my 60 day sentence. I’m being held at the Cheshire County Jail (NH) – thanks to judge Burke, on a contempt of court sentence. My crime was telling a judge I didn’t approve of his order to keep my friend behind bars for wearing a hat in court. To me, Burke should have watched the video I published, and ended the whole ordeal right there. He didn’t, and I did what I think everyone should do, and spoke out. I understand that I should have used better language, but swearing isn’t a crime in NH. Even if it was, I doubt we’d be able to build all the jails needed to house people who swore at someone.
I know that the primary person at fault is Judge Burke, who, for whatever reason, set out to make an example of me. Yet as I sit in the County Jail, I’ve had plenty of time to share my story with others here. Including booking officers, jailers, nurses, the jail doctors and even the superintendent – I even wrote my story on the wall of my cell while in segregation (a post is coming on that soon). Most staff wouldn’t even take the time to listen, stating, “I’m just doing my job,” and the ones that would listen would say something like, “I have to keep my thoughts to myself.” Really? Would you keep your thoughts to yourself if we were discussing a murderer or child molester?” (Note: often times jailers point out child molesters to other inmates – then inmates harass them and jailers allow it. My point is not whether that tactic is right or wrong, but it highlights that jailers do in fact form their own opinions on each ‘convict’). I doubt it, especially if you were witness to their horrendous crime (a rape or murder), and I’m sure you’d have no problem telling such a person what you thought of them then.
I understand you didn’t sign the paperwork that sent me to jail, but you’re working to keep me here. I encourage you to view my file and to watch the YouTube video. Ask yourself, is society safer with me behind bars (at taxpayer expense)? Were jails built for such “criminals”? And finally, is it the best possible use of limited jail resources? If you truly feel I should be in jail, so be it, but don’t give me some lame excuse like “I’m just doing my job” or “I have to keep my thoughts to myself.” Those are cop outs (no pun intended) and weak excuses because what you’re really saying is, “even though I don’t think you should be here, I’m willing to overlook my morals/beliefs for a paycheck.” At that point I’d say, “Congratulations, you’re officially a robot. Carry on.”
Although, if you think I shouldn’t be in jail, then as a public servant, it’s your duty to do something. Tell your colleagues, bosses, and even the judge himself, because if you do nothing, then YOU’RE RESPONSIBLE (period).