Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Failure of Law

This week the world was treated to the outcome of the celebrity trial of Michael Jackson, accused of performing lewd acts on a minor and nine other charges, plus several lower charges. After months of hearings, and seven days of deliberation, the jury found the accused 'not guilty' on every single count. Many of us had predicted this very outcome. Here are some of the things that astounded me about this whole thing.

America was enthralled with this trial, with the most vocal being those in support of the accused. Other countries weren't far behind. The media covered it extensively, perhaps too much so. Witness after witness changed their mind about their testimony. Clearly hush money was involved. Clearly the accuser's family played a role that involved initial gain. The case was as unusual as Jackson himself. But here's the bottom line for me:

A middle-age man admits readily to inviting and having young boys sleep with him in his bed overnight and in some cases, does the same with one or more boys for a long period of time, repeatedly. One psychiatrist said no matter how you slice the cake -- that is a relationship, and furthermore, in the eyes and mind of an average individual, it is a sexual relationship. Since the boy is a minor, it is an illegal relationship.

If we accept that, what more needed to be proved? Jackson admitted to it in his own testimony. What are we protecting here? Set aside the fact that he is a rich celebrity for a moment. Are we really saying that older men can invite young men to their beds, sleep with them, and not have it count as wrong or illegal? I think we are.

I think we're also saying it is okay for parents to gain advantages by agreeing to let older men have their children sleep with them. But as importantly, we're also saying that the legal system has been rendered incapable of putting a stop to such activity.

And this latter point applies to other issues as well -- issues of ethics in business and government; the right of individuals to worship freely and publicly the "God" that America is supposed to believe in; and so on.

America and the world is in a fine mess. It's government would do well to turn its attention to its legal system and start relying more heavily on what is right and what is wrong from a common folks perspective, from a moral and spiritual perspective, and from a perspective that will make the country strong again. Mr. Bush, clean up America's legal system as fast as you can.

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