WHEN a person is impoverished he is denied of the right connection in the community. There was this unwritten biases that often haunt the minds of the society.
The biases are the foundation of social discrimination. The biases that become the origin of social ills. One of these social evils is the “double standard” justice system.
Without doubt, the “double standard” justice system is the mother of all corruption in the community. It is the ultimate excesses of power and influence that dictates the character of the community.
More often, the poor and the under privileged is the victim of “double standard” justice system in a community laced with social inequities.
While social discrimination is intangible, its contextual implication is manifested in the lives of the people. A classical example of social discrimination is the few who still enjoy unwritten privileges while in prison. The malady displayed a gaping wound after an expose of the release of prisoners. The inmates who were convicted of heinous crimes but were released because of the “flaw” of the law per se.
The released of some prisoners by the Bureau of Corrections officials under pretext of “good conduct time allowance” (GCTA) opened the ‘Pandoras’ box. It not only triggered a social uproar but likewise uncovered the ugly head of the county’s “double standard” justice system.
The controversial GCTA provision of the law made the difference between the rich and the poor who were both deprived of liberty. It depicts the harsh reality that an influential prisoner could gain freedom under any circumstances. For instance, it is easier for a person, convicted of four life sentences, to avail of the GCTA.
Woe to the poor and the under privilege because they could not easily avail of the GCTA. What gives? To avail of the GCTA means that the prisoner needs a lawyer who could do the dirty jobs for his/her release. Of course, it would entail “money.”
If a prisoner has no money or could not afford the services of a well-connected lawyer, he or she would rot in jail. Certainly, that is what is happening in the country’s correctional institutions.
What makes matter worst are the innocents who were sent to prison because of their inability to hire lawyers. There is the belief that the innocent prisoners were victims of the “double standard justice” system. In fact, there are countless of them who are languishing in jail today.
While the thought about the “double standard” justice is abstract, its effect is tangible in context. Undoubtedly, the “double standard” justice system is prevalent in a country laden with corruption and corrupt public officials.
It is lamentable that, without exception, the “double standard” policy is contagious - it has contaminated all the branches of the government. Perhaps, eradicating the roots of the “double standard” justice system needs a “cultural revolution.” -0-
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