Content advisory 18+ Have you ever been falsely accused of doing something bad that you positively and absolutely didn’t do? How did you feel? Especially when there was no way to change the minds of those who were accusing you?
It’s happened to me a few times, and I can assure you that I was outraged. In fact, I have little doubt that my violent reaction to such injustice was fueled by the fact that I am usually GUILTY AS CHARGED, and it just so happened that on this or that particular occasion I was innocent.
So why, having gotten away with murder so many times — you may well ask — would I be so offended if, just once in a while, the ax fell on the wrong neck (mine) and the sheriff arrested the wrong guy (me?) Wouldn’t it just be a case of the law-of-averages finally catching up with a slippery fellow and fate administering a sour dose of ‘poetic justice?’
But it’s never like that, is it? I guess the reason is that you feel helpless. Trapped in your Truth, so to speak. It is one thing trying to convince your wife or girlfriend that you only drank two bottles instead of six, or that you “Absolutely did NOT have sex with that woman !” — and quite another to peer into the eyes of the jury who have just found you guilty and sentenced you to death, and still try to proclaim your innocence to those twelve executioners and their 24 circles of stone that blankly stare back at you.
I can’t speak for other countries, but in the United States there is a long history of innocent people being sent way for life sentences in brutal prisons, or simply put to death. Mostly, these have been poor defendants without recourse to adequate legal counsel, and, sad to say, the majority of these poor people were and are Black. The present-day sophistication of DNA testing has revolutionized how things are done and in many cases brought to a halt the put-’em’-to-death-and-forget-about–’em attitude of many States, particularly in the once notorious American South.
But the wheels of justice turn slowly, and, to this very day, it is common for the police and district attorney to lie their heads off just to get a conviction. The police are the biggest liars of all. Potentially exonerating evidence is ignored or suppressed, and, even when it has become indisputably clear that the wrong man was convicted, the D.A. (district attorney, often up for election in the near future) will fight tooth and nail to convince the public that “the real criminal is behind bars where he belongs.”
I said the South, but let’s be fair: it happened everywhere in America. However, if you want to partake of a distinctly grisly vision of Dixieland in the old USA, use your internet for what it was intended for (not porn films or hacking into other people’s business) and do a little research. Such as : “Photographs of Lynchings in the Racist American South.”
Or, if you still don’t believe me, try reading John Grisham’s true-life story “The Innocent Man.” It will shock you if you are shockable. It will show you the seamiest side of the human race in terms of how greedy, ambitious political whores will send people to their doom without a shudder of remorse just to make sure of getting re-elected for another term; and, even more impressively, it will demonstrate a very strange, pain-making human characteristic: the flint-like inability of certain people to ever admit that they were wrong. In other words, they would rather kill an innocent man than admit that THEY were in error; their egos cannot deal with it.
The point is this: YOU may be as innocent as Bambi the Lamb, but if other people decide you are guilty, then you are GUILTY… And probably by the time somebody — if your case remains important enough to linger in the memory — proves you were indeed NOT guilty, by then it is usually too late. Moreover, there will always be doubt in some people’s minds. A friend of mine who is a criminal case lawyer once told me a story about a case where jury selection was going on (an amazing subject for both native and non-native students of the American criminal justice system, if you are interested) — a very tedious but crucially important process in criminal law. One of the prospective jurors was asked: “Do you have any preconceived notions about the guilt or innocence of the defendant?” The fellow replied. “I sure as hell do. He’s guilty. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be sittin’ over there.”
That’s what I mean. Just being accused can sink you. If you are a kindergarten worker or school teacher of young children and fall accused of inappropriately touching a child, you are finished, whether you are guilty or not. In the recent #MeToo epidemic (mostly in America), a mere charge of sexual misconduct has been enough to ruin whole careers. Maybe in a lot of cases, there was some level of guilt: some cases 1 out of 10, other cases 9 out of 10, etc. Perhaps even 10 out of 10. But heads rolled without what in legal terms is called ‘due process’. In Salem, Massachusetts back in May of 1693, the famous “Witch Trials” were held and 20 people were hanged. Eventually, the colony came to its senses, admitted error, and compensated the families of the dead. That didn’t help those whose necks were stretched until their tongues turned black on the scaffold.
On the other hand, there is the longstanding assertion by the famous French novelist Honore de Balzac that “Behind every great fortune lies a great crime.” Cynical perhaps, considering that these illustrious names –the Fords and Rockefellers, Kennedys, and Vanderbilts — are meant to showcase once and for all the great Success Stories and Pinnacles of Achievement that makes America God’s favorite country.
Not too many of those guys did any jail time. They had good lawyers. Imposing statues in their honor spread across the land: all faces worthy of Mt. Rushmore, these bedrock pillars of the community, these sentries protecting the sanctity and goodness of America’s collective memory.
The reality was that none of those bastards would have given a starving man a slice of bread and butter.. (OK, maybe Bill Gates is a basically good guy.)
If you carefully read historical research (not scandal-mongering, just the blemishing facts) about these wonderful Role Models, you will see them for what they were: Ego Maniacs with Clever Minds… Some were outright scoundrels. But they never went to the scaffold. And this is the same EVERYWHERE, no less in Russia than in England or America.
In fact, one of my Russian friends once told me an apparently oft-repeated joke: Q: If you steal 100 roubles, what do they call you? A. Criminal. Q.: If you steal 10,000,000,000 roubles, what do they call you? A. Oligarch.
And so, dear friends, remember that Accusation = Guilt in many circumstances. Whether it is your girlfriend or the government, and if it is the government, then you have NO CHANCE, because the government is not going to let you fuck them afterwards, whereas your girlfriend still might.
The best advice I can give you, is that if you are going to be naughty Don’t Get Caught. Because, for all the law statutes in the world and all the hallowed halls and librairies they fill, there is only ONE crime:
No body, no crime.
So DON’T GET CAUGHT — or if you do, make sure you have a bln rubles to bribe the judge.
Otherwise, heaven help you if you are innocent and mistakenly accused. In New York or Moscow, maybe you can jump on the train and get off at the next stop, and they won’t find you. But in smaller communities, you might as well pack your suitcase ‘coz your kindergarten days are over.
There is something horrible about it, you know. A crime is committed and someone points the finger at you. Then many fingers begin to point. The police stop by to “ask a few questions”. Before you know it you are in the interrogation room being prodded and shouted at under a burning light bulb. Then you are behind bars. Soon, if you find yourself in a primitive culture, you will find yourself being led unceremoniously to the stoning pit or a noose dangling from a gibbet. At this point, if not before, you realize that they — the good people — are not kidding.
You cry out, now desperate. But they are not listening.
The mob, rigid in united hatred and condemnation, is merely glaring at you. Some fool in a black suit mumbling out of a prayer book. In the distance, children riding bicycles, dogs barking, boys fondling their girls and vice versa.
And you going to your death. For murder. Rape. Kidnapping.
And you didn’t do it.
===Eric Richard Leroy===