16A027 A Little Good News by Jim Davies, 7/26/2016    

 

There's only one way in which a free society will come about: when each person who understands it brings one of his friends to understand it too, as explained here and elsewhere. It won't result from any political development.

Even so, it's been encouraging this Summer to notice a couple of "straws in the wind" that may indicate a shift in public opinion, which in turn would make that simple task simpler yet, and therefore faster. First, there was the encouraging Brexit vote, in which a society very like our own chose not to be ruled by a government in Brussels. There's still no rejection of the one in London, but as this ZGBlog suggested, this may mean that 150 disastrous years of fascination with government has now peaked.

The other was the nomination last week of Donald Trump for President, by one of the two large and creaking political parties. Now, Trump is no Libertarian, as I pointed out here; probably three quarters of his positions are dead wrong. But he has two important things to his credit: he has wiped the floor with all the other, favored "establishment" rivals and so is well placed to dispose also of Hillary; and he has indicated a very fresh and healthy approach to foreign policy, without which all our hopes for liberty may well vanish in a nuclear winter or at least a major war. By common consent, he has won because millions of people are fed up with the status quo; and that too is highly encouraging.

Today, I bring a third bit of good news; and this time it's not on the "macro" level of great swings in public opinion but on the micro level of one man and his search for justice. It's the story of Raymond L Jennings, sentenced in 2005 to 40 years in prison for murder but exonerated this month after the prosecutor admitted he "didn't have a case."

Does this indicate that the government's monstrous "justice" system is starting to break apart at the seams? - I hope so, but can't be sure. Perhaps, though, it's another straw in the wind.

Ray was a security guard at a car park in Palmdale, CA and on February 22nd 2000 two teenage girls drove in so that one could retrieve her own car. Michelle O'Keefe said farewell to her friend and opened up her blue Mustang. A few minutes later she was shot dead.

Ray heard the shots and called the police. He spoke with them freely - too much, as he admits (there are three vital rules, which he forgot: (a) say nothing, (b) be quiet and (c) shut up.) Five years later, with a weak and circumstantial case, the prosecutor "rolled the dice" since he'd found no other suspect, and after two hung juries, won a third trial.

After seeing a presentation of the case on NBC Dateline, in 2015 I wrote to Ray to offer a little encouragement, and we struck up a correspondence. As recently as this March, he was doing his best to stay hopeful in what seemed an almost hopeless prospect of another 29 years in a government cage, but to my astonishment and his, suddenly on July 23rd he was set free!

His liberty has to be confirmed by a hearing on August 24th, before when Ray is, no doubt on counsel's advice, guarded in what he can say about the reason. The LA Times refers to "new evidence" implicating "another person" so my guess is that some occupant of a car known to have been parked a few yards away from Michelle's Mustang has at last come forward with a confession or testimony that clears Ray completely. We shall see.

Ray has been savaged in every way including financially, and upon his release he was told to expect no compensation for the 11 lost years. So he needs a hand to get normal life re-started. There's a gofundme site up for his benefit here, and if you agree that this victim of government deserves help, why not click the link and contribute?

No doubt, government junkies will say "See! The system works!" but in reality the system is broken beyond repair. First, it gave Michelle's family no restitution of any kind for the loss of her life and company. Second, it nailed the wrong perp. Third, it handed down retribution so as to ruin his life as well as his supposed victim's. Fourth, even its Appeal court, supposedly existing to reverse errors, upheld this highly tenuous conviction And fifth, it did all that because it has a monopoly; there are no competing detection, apprehension, adjudication or resolution firms to keep each other honest and economical. Ray Jennings was freed in spite of the government system, not because of it. The "Justice" page on TheAnarchistAlternative.info shows what will probably prevail after government evaporates.

Meantime, what effect will this story have, on the residual future of government? - this, I think: as news of it circulates (perhaps with an NBC Dateline follow-up to celebrate) more people will recognize that justice, which is supposed to be the most important function of government, is not being done; not just when government itself is a party to the dispute, as in the Schiff and other cases, but even when ordinary crime is concerned. So their faith in it will reduce. Not much, but some. And what is that, but very good news indeed?

 

 
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