Justice in the Round
Justice in the Round, what is it, what does it look like and how can it be obtained? These are the sub-themes of the 155 page book I recently authored. The book, Justice in the Round debuts 4 April 2015, on the 47th Anniversary of the Assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The pages of Justice in the Round spilled out onto the streets of Ferguson, Missouri last week. The last two paragraphs in Justice in the Round accurately and prophetically warn of events like the mass demonstration held in front of the Ferguson Police Department. This demonstration ended in gunfire. The presumption is the gunfire came from members of the public. The gunfire seriously wounded two Ferguson police officers.
As I closed out this book of essays on the American jury system, a system that has caused American citizens to take to the street in mass protest, I wrote:
“Rushing headlong into the 21st century, America will either live out her creed of Justice for all, as rooted in the written words of her 18th century founders, or there will be modern day rebellions, and correspondingly, the streets will be devoid of peace and occupied by militias, survivalists, ethnic gangs, nationalized state guard units, and millennial patriots, each seeking their perspective of what law and order, freedom and justice, civil rights and human decency is in the streets of America.”
Initially, accounts of the gunfire indicated that the law enforcement officials believed the gunfire was directed at police officers. But over the weekend, law enforcement personnel disclosed the possibility that someone in the crowd of protesters may have been the target of the gunman or gunmen.
Protest in America just got a bit more dangerous. In the past, violent reaction against protest was at the hands of law enforcement. It was the police pitted against the aggrieved citizen group demanding regress for their grievances. Voicing one’s opposition to government action has been the American way. The framers of the Constitution guaranteed as much in their very First Amendment to the Constitution.
If it is true that the gunmen involved in the shooting of the two Ferguson police officers last week were aiming for members in the crowd of protesters the rights of every American to peacefully assemble have been chilled by this type of militia action. Now protesters have to be concerned not only about being gassed and billy clubbed by the police from their front perimeter, but also being pelted by gunshots from their rear flank.
Given this scenario, the last paragraph in Justice in the Round is more potent than when I wrote it: “And those Americans left lying in the streets will say, Nomen iustitiam, iustitiam in circuitu, which is to say, my name is Justice – Justice in the Round.
Harold Michael Harvey, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” and “Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org