Juror#97 Part III Execute Justice Quickly

On June 2nd my wife and I made up for my missing our anniversary due to serving as Juror #97.  We had a getaway in the beautiful mountains of western Carolina and took a very slow old-fashioned steam-powered train ride along the Nantahala River.  The scenery was fantastic while we cruised along at a top speed of fifteen miles per hour.  We chugged along on a winding track sometimes having to slow down to five miles per hour to avoid wobbling into a mountainside.  Thankfully the conductor was experienced and did not Execute the turns too Quickly.

         Tight Curve on the Nantahala

On June 3, 2022, the murderer of Zaria Burgess was sentenced to death by the twelve jurors that were chosen to serve on this case.  The details as noted on the national UPI news are here.     It took what could have been my fellow jurors only 3 hours to deliberate and decide he was guilty and to decide to give him the death penalty.   The trial only lasted 3 weeks.   Sadly, as the rape and murder was committed on August 18, 2019, the family and all those who were collateral damage, in this case, had to wait 3 years for justice to be served.  The man CONFESSED to everything his evil soul had done.  The evidence was beyond overwhelming.  Yet, it took the justice system THREE YEARS to chug along with this case.

Now, this fiend will sit in solitary confinement (so no one will harm HIM) most likely somewhere between five and twenty years before he is actually executed for this crime.  Read the stats on how long it typically takes here if in fact the laws don’t get changed by some liberal courts in the future.

The laws rightfully so are written to make sure an accused person has a speedy trial.  (I am providing all the links from my research for those who wish to have further facts on the subject)     It is only fair that a person who is innocent until proven guilty does not have to sit in a jail cell waiting if indeed they are innocent.   However, 90% of the time in a felony case the accused, or CRIMINAL, waives their right to a speedy trial and hops on an old-fashioned steam-powered train to slow down the justice system.  Naturally, time is needed for both sides to prepare a case.   In big ones that can mean thousands of billable hours.  For a court-appointed attorney, guess who pays the tab for the lawyers’ $150-$300 per hour fees?  That’s right, you the taxpayer. 

In this case and any recent ones, we know covid created a backlog.  But long before covid existed, typically, most trials did not hit the docket for a minimum of 180 days and typically go past the two-year stage.   While this case in Monroe, NC is a major one it is not as famous as others that also took three years before reaching the trial stage.

The murder trial for Nipsy Hussle who was murdered by a gangbanger in March of 2019 just started last week.     The criminal attorney Rachel Fiset in this case stated – “the pandemic delay could possibly complicate the case.  Witnesses may forget things, witnesses’ memories become hazy, people move away, that’s generally the issues with a longer trial,”  Fiset said ‘a three-year wait for trial isn’t unusual, though, and may have given both sides more time to better prepare their case.

It is amazing how slow the system moves in what should be a speedy system to bring criminals to justice, especially one like the Burgess case with a confession and all.  It is like these water-rafters going down the river moving twice as fast as our train was going.

Common costly trials require the gathering of much evidence and requests for delays from both sides prolong the train ride.  Interesting it is in the ‘Speedy Trial’ doctrine shown earlier a short clause states executing justice quickly is important because of the need for: 12-3.1d) minimizing the length of the periods of anxiety for victims, witnesses and defendants, and their families;   How kind of the lawmakers to think so much about the victims and all the collateral damage surrounding something as horrible as what Burgess did to include a whole one line of concern for them.  In case you missed the obvious that this is part 3 of this writing.  The underlined item will take you to the previous part where I talked about the fact there are many people harmed even in supposed victim-less crimes. 

So I am not misread with my sarcasm of the system I take a moment to thank the Superior Court Judge Stuart Albright, the court clerk JR Rowell  and her staff who managed all the details, the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Prosecutor DA Trey Robison, and ADA Mary Beth Usher, with the significant assistance of ADA Cristin Dunne and DA Office Investigator Ronnie Watkins.   All of these folks did an outstanding job!  No one but the lawmakers can improve the fixes needed to Execute Justice much more Quickly.  These folks all did their job well, as did the jurors.

We cannot possibly express our condolences to the family and all those who knew Zaria Burgess. May she rest in peace and the family recover from all they have been through these long last three years. 

There you have many facts and figures on how slow the system moves.  I invite you to consider reading part two which provides a few spiritual aspects of why executing justice quickly is so important.

Please don’t go away yet! Hit that red/pink line for more. If this is your first time visiting Average Joe’s Portico, every post is written in two parts. You have just read the portion challenging the mind, body, and soul.  In The Portico, I seek to tap into your spiritual side, but only IF YOU DARE.  Tap the Red Line Below to read the Part 2 Spiritual side of the story.  (For an explanation of my madness – read the ‘Do You Dare’ Tab)

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In part II  I mentioned how after Jesus was murdered on the cross and the Apostles had to regroup.  Before they did anything else, they put behind them what Judas did and replaced him immediately with a newly qualified disciple.   Similarly, today’s justice system in the United States recognizes the importance of having twelve jurors given the authority to judge a case.  If one juror drops out, the whole case is halted until one of the alternates takes their place.

Twelve and eleven are two Biblical numbers that go hand-in-hand with each other.  Eleven represents chaos, disorder, and judgment.  The kind brought on by the rebellion of men that produces murder-rape cases like Juror #97 was brought into.  Twelve on the other hand is represented by God’s governmental authority and divine order.   He fixes the disorder with His directed order if we allow Him to.  I expound on this in great detail in a previous post worth studying.  What is key in Part III though is the importance of making it happen quickly. 

As Solomon, the wisest man ever to walk on the face of the earth wrote:

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of mankind among them are fully given to do evil.”  Ecclesiastes 8:11 AMP

Many think laws are written to keep everyone in check.  According to the Bible though laws are written soundly, without question, to establish a line of authority for those who are NOT righteous.  When God set up His authority over mankind with Adam and Eve there were no laws.  They were made to be righteous and no laws were required.  But they rebelled and were removed immediately from the holy presence of the Lord who had created them and had given them all.  Eve and Adam insisted on wanting to have more knowledge, and they got it.  But that came with trouble as they could not handle the truth, nor can most people in this world we live in.

Paul described it to Timothy in the first chapter (read the whole chapter here for full context and understanding)  

In verse 8 he said  But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,”   In other words, the law by itself makes sense and is for our good.  Some consider the Bible as condemnation and judgment and something that takes away our rights.   But in essence, it is simply designed to make sure we treat one another as we want to be treated by others.  Love each other as we want to be loved.  Not much more should be needed, don’t hurt me and I likewise do not hurt you.  Do not steal my stuff, I do not steal yours.   Leave my wife and kids alone, I leave yours alone and never even think about violating them.   We are all under the same guidelines. But unfortunately, most cannot keep the rules therefore they had to be written.

Paul continues in verses 9-11 ” knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,

Because rebellion and evil expanded; more rules, laws, and sentences had to be created.  God granted and gave authority to the governments to handle the everyday aspects of civil law.  Like any of them in any country, state, or local place or not, that authority was established by God and we’re all stuck, Christian or not, to follow the laws of the land that we live in.  Anything else is against what God established.  Jesus submitted to the Roman authorities, regardless of how awful they were.   READ all of Romans13 to grasp this.   

How we deal with bad laws and bad government, is a whole different topic.  Every Christian should be exemplary in following the laws and honoring those who enforce the laws and run the judicial system.  Even when they are not acting the way we think they should.  That does not mean we don’t fight for change and ask for it to be better, like this and other posts I write attempting to do just that. 

The major problem today aside from corruption in the governments and justice system is a failure to keep evil in check.  Romans 13:4 states “But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.”  Fear of consequences, fear of sentencing, and fear of wrath being taken out on yourself for doing wrong is a byproduct of the law.  It is a necessity for justice to be executed.

And repeating from Ecclesiastes 8:11 in the MSG version this time – Because the sentence against evil deeds is so long in coming, people, in general, think they can get by (get away with it that is) with murder.”

If we hope to curb the evils of people shooting each other that everyone is shouting about in these times, then the system needs to act much more quickly when laws are broken.  Especially regarding physical harm crimes from the slightest assault to murder.  Additional laws and additional restrictions will solve nothing.    Let’s curb the thinking that people can get away with things instead. 

We must do better and Execute Justice Quickly!

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