Justice Suspended

The headline ”Justice Suspended” in the middle right hand column of a northeast Pennsylvania  newspaper caught my eye.  And for the briefest of moments I pondered its possible meanings.

Had justice indeed been suspended in Pennsylvania? I thought of the hundreds of men, over 600 at last count, who were juveniles when they were sent to prison for life in Pennsylvania.

In 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court in its Miller vs. Alabama decision, outlawed this practice. But this is Pennsylvania.

For these men, the Pennsylvania Supreme court ruled recently that Miller wasn’t retroactive. So it didn’t apply to them. For them, these 600, was justice suspended?

As I said, this was the briefest of moments.

The headline referred to a judge on the Pennsylvania Supreme court called justice” in this state, who was suspended from his office for his role in a still-unfolding sex email scandal. He was among other high-ranking officials from the Attorney General’s office to the Parole Board, accused of swapping hundreds of sexually explicit and racist emails. According to published accounts Justice Seamus McCaffery, a former Philadelphia cop, threatened another justice who he wanted to help him, saying ominously, “I’m not going down alone.”

These words sounded like a discussion between Mafiosi, not the highest judges in the state.

Is justice suspended? Perhaps it has been for years.

 From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal