Prison Radio
Kevin Cooper

Here in the good ol’ USA, there are certain people who really believe with all their heart that “justice is blind” in America. In fact, in the criminal justice system, there’s a well-known symbol used to represent this ideology. The name of this symbol is Lady Justice—she carries a scale in her hand representing ‘Equal Justice Under the Law.’ This is the ideal of the criminal justice system in this country.

However, most poor people who enter the real-world realm of the criminal justice system soon find out that that everything is not quite as it’s supposed to be. We find that justice, despite the symbol, is not blind in America.

In fact, we experience the opposite. We learn that blind folks are running the system, and dispensing their own form of justice. They are blinded by their racism, their classicism, their homophobia, their religious prejudice and their political agendas.

We find that, like beauty, justice is in the eye and mind of the beholder. But we poor people who find ourselves caught up in this system of justice behold nothing. We never have and never will!

One may come to believe that lady justice actually wears the blindfold because she doesn’t want to see the truth. Seeing it, she would have to acknowledge it. If she acknowledged it, then she would have to do something about it, and that is the one thing those running this system could never allow.