By Letter to the Editor on November 5, 2020.
A vast majority of people believe that judges are wise, just, equitable, sagacious and intellectuals. Hence we place our full trust in their judgment.
However, looking at the many events, especially in the recent years, has proven that all judges are neither just nor wise. Too many times in this year alone, young black humans have been murdered by the police. Thanks to the videos, taken by bystanders, there is direct evidence and proof. And yet, in all cases the police have been acquitted with or without a slap on the wrist while the close relatives and friends of the victim are emotionally scarred for life.
The most recent news (Lethbridge Herald, Oct. 21), reporting that Ottawa police officer Daniel Montsion has been cleared in the death of Abdirahman Abdi by Ontario Court Justice Robert Kelley, adds to the long list of unjust verdicts delivered by supposedly just judges. The prosecutors alleged that the heavy-handed punches Montsion delivered while wearing gloves with knuckles reinforced with plastic caused severe facial injuries that precipitated Abdi’s death.
Abdi was not armed, nor was he actively assaulting the first officer on the scene, when Montsion arrived. Abdi did not strike the officers after he was brought to the ground. He was hit on the face repeatedly causing extreme facial injuries and a broken nose that led to the fatal heart attack.
Judge Kelleys verdict was “My assessment of the evidence … leaves me in a state of reasonable doubt.”
I do not understand what is doubtful about the facts. Abdi is dead. What reasonable doubt is there regarding this fact? Montsion inflicted severe injuries with reinforced gloves that resulted in a heart attack that killed Abdi. That fact is also indisputable, there is no room for reasonable doubt. His guilt is irrefutable.
So, what is going on here? I have an explanation regarding the unjudicious verdicts of all the judges who free the murderous police time and again. The judges are human, with human predudices, biases, emotions, reactions. When they sit on the judges’ chair they do not discard any of their human traits or mindsets. They can not leave the “human” outside the courtroom because he is inseparable from the “judge.”
There is an easy solution. All the trials should be judged by juries. The judge can deal with the technicalities but not determine the guilt or innocence of the accused.