Black Robes, White Justice: An Open Letter to the St. Louis County Circuit Court
To the Honorable Maura McShane, Justice, St. Louis County Circuit Court:
Greetings. I recently learned that you denied the request of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to convene a new grand jury in the Ferguson case and appoint a neutral, special prosecutor to independently oversee the grand jury process. I write this missive to share with you my concerns arising from your decision.
As you well know, the convening of a new grand jury and a special prosecutor under unusual circumstances is not without legal precedent. Such extraordinary measures are merited in instances where it is pretty obvious that the integrity of the judicial process has been prejudicially compromised and results in a miscarriage of justice. I’m not going to bore you by reiterating the facts in this matter, as I am more than certain that the NAACP Legal Defense Team has most competently argued those facts in support of their request. But I will say that your denial of said request is deeply disappointing to myself and many who hoped that, this time, justice would be served and Michael Brown Jr.’s killer would finally be held accountable for his murder via an indictment and trial by a jury of his peers. This is but the latest in a trilogy of missed opportunities for the judicial process to right an incomprehensible and immoral wrong. Three times Mike Brown’s family has been robbed: robbed of the opportunity of seeing their son live, go to college and become a positive support to his family and his community; robbed of a fair and untainted grand jury process resulting in being his killer to trial; and lastly, robbed of the corrective, balancing mechanism that was put in place to fix what a broken and imbalanced system got wrong.
Viewed in a different way, however, the system didn’t fail at all. It accomplished exactly what it was designed to do: maintain the privilege of the status quo in this country, at all costs. That pretty much gives those who are in power carte blanche over the disposable lives of powerless minorities and the poor. It guaranteed a certain outcome in cases like this, which has been documented by extensive research and given the apt shorthand, “Black robes, White Justice.”
Your ruling actually did not come as shock to me. But you may be shocked to learn that your ruling will not stand. It will not stand because a higher court has convened in heaven, and will reverse every perverse ruling of the courts of injustice here below. That court operates without any political interference, racial discrimination, implicit racial bias nor taint of personal vested interest. That court is genuinely interested in preserving and maintaining the rights of all the people, and upholding the truth, righteousness, equity and justice for all. That court will hold all humans equally accountable for all that they have done, judging even the secret motives and actions that are hidden from sight. And at the appointed time, that court will separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares, and render impartial judgment to everyone according to their deeds.
In the final analysis, I don’t judge you at all for what you did or failed to do in this matter. That’s in God’s hands and therefore is neither my place nor my purpose. I simply repeat, that I was deeply disappointed by this decision. In my opinion, that decision has far more import than a simple procedural question at law. It solidifies the cycle of injustice that a grieving family has experienced since the day that their son was so violently taken away from them. Their grief is a shared grief, one that many African-American families identify with because for so long we have known and experienced the failure of the American Justice system to recognize our humanity, equally protect our rights and properly value our lives. But despite all of this, we will press on, we will persevere, we will endure and prosper. Before God, we will live to see the day that justice will finally run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Black Lives Matter.
Fred H. Moore, Jr.
Do you feel that Blacks will find justice in the American justice system? What steps need to be taken to ensure justice for Blacks in America?