Tag: Justice

Joshua Brown’s Murder Spin Maybe Adding Up to Fake News?

By Michael October 9, 2019 Off

How does a young man go from being a scared, sacred, and shy witness against a police officer one week and a bold, brutal, and brazen marijuana dealer the next week?

How many pot distribution centers did the men from Alexandria, Louisiana drive pass on their way to Dallas, Texas?

How could there have been a gun battle which killed one person and severely injured another one, and there is not one media report over the weekend of gun-battle injuries related to the death of Joshua Brown? read more

A Synopsis of Freaknik Lawyer

By Michael May 28, 2019 Off

This memoir connects the dots from Plessy to Brown to Obama and the quest of millennials to throw off the shackles of the Curse of Plessy and the unkept Promise of Brown.

Freaknik is not quite as freaky as it sounds. Certainly, Freaknik Lawyer is not about a lawyer getting his freak on when the lights go off.
read more

Atlanta Re-opens the 1970s Missing and Murder Children Cases

By Michael March 27, 2019 Off

Over 40 years ago, the city of Atlanta, Georgia closed the books on the “missing and murdered” children cases. From about 1977 through 1981, 28 Black children and young adults disappeared from Atlanta streets in an impoverished section of the city.

These youngsters, both male, and female were never again seen alive. Fear gripped Blacks in the city “too busy to hate.” The law enforcement authorities and the mainstream media was slow to recognize there was a mass murderer afoot in Atlanta. read more

Mueller Clears Trump of Collusion-But Not Obstruction

By Michael March 25, 2019 Off

Special Counsel Robert Mueller after a 22-month long investigation clears President Donald J. Trump of collusion with the Russians to influence the 2016 Presidential election.

Mueller’s delivered his confidential report to Attorney General William Barr as required by law over the weekend. Then, Barr issued a four-page letter to leaders of the Senate and the House. read more

The Cop Killing of Unarmed Black Men Must Stop!

By Michael March 31, 2018 Off

The wholesale killing of unarmed Black men must stop. Enough cop killings are enough! Stop this police brutality now!

It never ceases to amaze me that a white gunman can kill a large number of people and they can be captured alive. For instance, the young white boy that killed Black Christians at their weekly prayer meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. read more

Jury Duty is Essential to Justice

By Michael May 17, 2016 Off

Jury duty is essential to obtaining justice in the round, which is the title of my latest book on the American jury system (Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, Cascade Publishing House, 2015). In it I opined that the criminal justice system does not work if good people do not show up for jury duty when summoned to put their lives on hold for however long it takes to settle a dispute between their neighbors.

This week I answered such a summons to judge the factual disputes between residents of Fulton County. The summons spelled out what would happen if I did not put aside all of my business and show up at the appointed hour. A period of time in the overcrowded Fulton County Jail would have been my fate. I like to think that most people would appear without this dire warning printed on the jury duty notice.

The reality is that far too many people avoid this essential part of citizenship in a democratic society, much like, the large percentage of citizens who will not take the time to exercise their democratic right to vote.

American citizens enjoy many of the services that government provides  like schools, roads, bridges and athletic arenas, but seldom  get involved in making sure democracy works.

I am sure I would have appeared ready to discharge my civic jury duty even if the notice had not included the consequences had I remained at home working on the manuscript for the next book that is due out in July.

In my lifetime, I have answered the call to jury duty three times. The first time was in 1977 or thereabouts, it took the Bibb County SWAT team to get a skinny newspaper reporter into the courthouse for jury duty. You can read about the details in Justice in the Round. For now, suffice it to say the jury duty notice never came, so a judge sent his courtroom bailiff out to escort me into the courthouse for jury duty. The problem began when the bailiff arrived in my driveway in his private van without any documentation for my arrest. When the dust cleared, the judge released me from any further obligation to serve during that term of court.

Sometime in the early 1990s I was summoned to jury duty in Fulton County. A young black man named Norris Speed was on trial for the murder of either an Atlanta or East Point Police Officer. It was rumored that Speed may have acted in self-defense. The trial was expected to last three months or more. I was a relatively young lawyer running a solo practice on Peachtree Street. There was no way I would have had a practice left if I had to spend three months away from it. When I left home the morning I was to report for jury duty, my wife said to me, “You tell that judge you can’t be away from your business for three months.”

I did not tell the judge what she had said, but after defense attorney Michael Mears asked me to explain my bad encounter with law enforcement when I was called to jury duty in Bibb County, Georgia; John Turner, the Assistant District Attorney prosecuting the case, upon hearing this horrifying story decided I would not be a good person to have sitting on that jury, so I was excused.

This week’s jury duty service required me to decide whether a young black man had raped and kidnapped a young black women near the point where Ralph David Abernathy Road intersects with Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in the city of Atlanta.

During Voire Dire, the young man’s lawyer said the crime had in fact been committed at this location. Strange admissions I thought coming out of the mouth of a criminal defense attorney.

Voire Dire,  a process used by lawyers to determine whether any potential juror has any biases for or against the accused, was bush league from both the prosecuting attorney and the criminal defense attorney.

First neither gave the prospective jurors much of an indication what the trial was about. Neither side explored the dichotomies that would be contested during the trial. Something I always found essential to laying out a foundation for the factual issues the jury was about to decide.

Secondly, the defense attorney did not question the women jurors about any preconceived biases they may have had whenever a man is accused of abusing a woman in the fashion the State of Georgia claimed this man had done.

Nor did they explore whether anyone had ever been raped, or in a date situation where they thought the other party crossed the line. I was not sure, but I had a vague impression that this situation involved people who knew each other. At the bare minimum it would have been helpful for the defendant to know what beliefs women brought into the courthouse with them about such matters.

It could not have been a surprise when the prosecutor asked if anyone had formed an opinion whether the defendant was guilty, that more than ten hands from the 50 people in the room went up into the air.

When I worked as a trial lawyer, I can not recall so many hands going up at one time on this question, before anyone had heard any of the evidence. Typically, one of two people will seize upon this question as their pathway back to their busy lives. Alas, such is our system of American justice.

I sat there shaking my head, wondering how so many people could already be convinced that the guy on trial had raped and kidnapped the woman bringing the charges.

Maybe he did, but there is no way of knowing this for a fact before the trial starts.

After the 50 jurors were questioned en mass,  the judge placed the first six in the jury box for further questioning. He released the rest of us until after lunch.

While we were away the Heavens apparently shook. The defendant agreed to plead guilty. He was facing a life sentence plus an additional 15 years if he was convicted at trial. The plea deal called for him to  receive a 15 year sentence. Upon reaching his decision to spend the next 15 years of his life in prison, the young man collapsed onto the floor. He had heart palpitations. The court was unable to immediately sentenced him to prison.

What happened next is something I never experienced when I was a criminal defense lawyer. It occurred often, but the lawyers were not invited.

Suddenly, the judge appeared in the hallway to talk with the jurors. This is usually an excellent opportunity for a judge to remain fresh in the minds of voters. He told us about the plea deal that had been struck while we were away. He said that the system had been trying for several years to give the accused a trial, but something always came up. Today, because jurors were present in the hallway to mete out justice it had helped the accused to make up his mind and accept the plea deal offered by the State.

I have no way of knowing if justice was done in this case, or if my mere presence scared the defendant into accepting the lesser of the two offers on the table. But this concluded my jury duty service. By the time the county get around to my name again, it is a good possibility that I will have reached the age for exemption. If so, I will still show up and do my civic duty to insure that those accused in our criminal justice system get a fair and just trial.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist, the author of Paper puzzle and Justice in the Round. He can be contacted at haroldmichaelharvey.com.




Macon Native to Sign Book

By Michael June 15, 2015 Off

Macon Native Harold Michael Harvey to Sign His New Book Justice in the Round At Bethel C. M. E. Church On Father’s Day, June 21, 2015

Bethel C. M. E. Church, Macon, Georgia will host a book signing, following both worship services on Father’s Day, June 21, 2015, for native son Harold Michael Harvey.

His new book Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, Cascade Publishing House, 2015, tackles justice in America following the George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn jury trials and the grand jury proceedings in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York. The church is located at 1668 Pio Nono Avenue.

“One salient fact shapes my frame of reference in these essays: All jurors bring to the jury room their genetics and their sundry environments. By virtue of this fact, we are all subconsciously race-conscious. No one can divorce themselves from their genetic make-up, but we can, if we choose, overcome the environmental conditions that will enable us to be fair to people with different genetics and social standing,” Harvey writes.

The author grew up in Macon’s Unionville community and Bethel C. M. E. Church, where he came under the mentorship of community activist Frank Johnson. He served the church as Assistant Superintendent of the Sunday School and as a member of the Senior Choir, Usher Board and the Steward Board before leaving home to attend law school in the early 1980s.

Harold Michael Harvey is the author of the legal thriller Paper Puzzle. He writes on legal and political issues at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in political science from Tuskegee University and a Juris Doctorate from Atlanta Law School. He is the winner of the “Outstanding Work in Newspaper Journalism Award” from the National Newspaper Publishers Association (Macon Courier) and has won two semi-monthly Political Pundits Prizes from Allvoices.com. A former practicing lawyer, Harvey now spends his days reading and writing. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife and vegetable garden. He writes wherever the muse takes him.

Harvey said he is excited that his home church is hosting a book signing for him. “I feel blessed that my home church continues to think highly of the nurturing they poured into me when I was growing up,” Harvey said.

Also, Bethel hosted a book signing for his first book Paper Puzzle.

“I am looking forward to seeing many of my family members from out of town and old high school classmates who are coming back to Macon to worship with us on Sunday. I feel blessed beyond words,” Harvey said.

Justice in the Round

By Michael March 15, 2015 Off

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 hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com


Justice in the Round On Sale

By Michael March 7, 2015 Off

Justice in the Round is on sale! I am so excited. I have to say it again. Justice in the Round is on sale! Indulge me once again: Justice in the Round is on sale! If you don’t believe me, just click the Add To Cart Button to the right of this blog post. Go ahead, do it now, =&0=&! I’ll be here when you return to finish reading this post.

It is priced right. It sells for $16.99. It is suitable for ages 15 through 103 and beyond. There are only 32,500 words packed onto 165 pages, but the power and impact of those words are priceless. They cannot be measured.

It has been a long time coming. A circuitous path no less. But this day finally arrived.  Many of you know the story, Justice in the Round, was scheduled to go on sale last summer. I had put it to bed so to speak and was preparing the final stages of the publishing process. Then a well established university press heared about my project and expressed an interest in publishing it.

I was smitten by the “grass is greener on the other side” bug. I had thoughts of newfound prestige dancing in my head. Forget the advance, a university press could just be the thing needed to propel my prose to the next level. So I gave it a try.

In the meantime, the violent world of citizen confrontations with the police and their backers rocked on. Young men continued to die in the streets of America senselessly. I could not wait. Simply could not sit on the sidelines a second more, no; not while my youthful teammates are gunned down in the middle of the street and on the sidewalk in broad daylight. And nothing is done. No justice in the streets of America.

I took my dilemma to God in prayer. For a while it seem that either I was not clear in what I was seeking or the Great Spirit was not listening. Suddenly, my dungeon shook. The mental fog was lifted. Prestige be danged. The word must be delivered. It must be delivered now. “God knows,” as Stevie Wonder sang, “exactly where He wanted you to be placed.”

Read up! My name is Justice-Justice in the round.


Harold Michael Harvey, JD, 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 hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com

Interview Financial Breeze Show

By Michael March 3, 2015 Off

Harold Michael Harvey beginning interviewed on the Financial Breeze Show




Back in January, I had an interview on the Financial Breeze Show. The Financial Breeze Show is part of the Praise House Network. The Financial Breeze Show presented a  free-style interview format. It allowed me to cover a number of issues. We discussed my forthcoming book, Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, including Ferguson and Staten Island. I thought this interview on the Financial Breeze Show was important, so I wanted to bring it to the readers of my blog.

I was interviewed by Breezy Gipson and Jay Green. I have found both of them to be very sincere and dedicated broadcasters. They are interested in uplifting the community. They tend not to ask questions   for shock value. They raise questions to get at solutions to the problems that confront our community.

We also talked about my novel Paper Puzzle and how it relate to the problems of Ferguson and Staten Island. I really appreciated this question because it helped me to frame Paper Puzzle in a contemporary light. I believe the public will find that discussion very interesting.

Another issue we covered was race in America. We discussed President Barack Obama’s continuous call for an honest discussion on race in America.

Also, Jay Green wanted to know how to bridge the generation gap between Baby Boomers and the Millennials. A rather profound discussion followed. It may be interesting for listeners. We talked about how the elders can help the younger generation in the struggle for human dignity. Also, we discussed the need to pass the baton to young people. In short, it is time for young people to do their thing.

This free flowing interview on the Financial Breeze Show is for all age groups. It should be used as a facilitator for dialogue between the elders and the young. Hopefully, we can bridge the gap and get the two generations working together in order to bring about justice and human dignity for all.


Harold Michael Harvey, JD, is the author of the legal thriller “Paper Puzzle,” available at Amazon and at haroldmichaelharvey.com. He can be contacted at hmharvey@haroldmichaelharvey.com