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Justice Goes Both Ways

The phrase “innocent until proven guilty” appears in a plea to a Gettysburg court made by a Samuel Chase. This expression was first recorded by the The Sprig Of Liberty Newspaper in February 1805 based upon this case. The presumption of innocence is a legal right of the accused in a criminal trial. This is an international human right under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11. While the United States Constitution does not include this language, the presumption of innocence first took hold in the 1895 court case of Coffin verses the United States.

The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, 19 Then you shall do to him as he had intended to do to his brother. So you shall put away the evil from among you. 20 And those who remain shall hear and [reverently] fear, and shall henceforth commit no such evil among you. 21 Your eyes shall not pity: it shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Deuteronomy 19:18-21.

In the Old Testament, God’s law was straight forward. Often referred to as “an eye for an eye,” justice would be based upon the transgression committed. If a life was taken, the guilty party would lose their life. If an item was stolen, that cost of that item would be the penalty and so on. God designed justice to go both ways, rewarding the afflicted with a positive ruling. Meanwhile, the trespasser was forced to pay the penalty passed down by the ruling Judge.

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous (the upright, in right standing with God), but to the evildoers it is dismay, calamity, and ruin, Proverbs 21:15.

In the past month, Jake Gardner, a Nebraska bar owner was initially not charged with with fatally shooting a protester, 22-year-old James Scurlock. This initial police report claimed that Scurlock was shot in self defense as Gardner was being choked by Scurlock, refusing to let him go. However, when members of Antifa and BLM members protested outside of the home of the Douglas County Attorney in Nebraska, he changed his mind. Giving into peer pressure, justice was altered to bow down to the mob, charging Gardner with Scurlock’s murder. When Jake’s Go Fund Me page to pay for his legal fees was suspended and taken down, Jake committed suicide. While Gardner’s name continues to be smeared by the media after his death, I pray that justice will continue to go both ways.

by Jay Mankus


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