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Opinions Mon, 29 Jul 2013

Of the Law and the Truth!

In the Light of George Zimmerman Trial & Ghana’s 2012 Election Petition Case By Joe Kingsley Eyiah, OCT, Brookview M.S., Toronto-Canada

“The truth shall make you free;” and Christ is the truth….The Desire of Ages, page 466

The law of God is perfect and just! What about the law of man (of the land)? The law of God is the character of God; and God is Love and Just! What, then, is the law of the land (man-made)? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. (The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.) Is the purpose of the individual right being perverted because the truth is being sacrificed on the altar of the law? Truth succumbs to evidence and facts as learned men/women of the law argue to ‘bury’ criminal intent in our court rooms! “I put it to you; objection! Over ruled or sustained! Prove it!” These are some of the technicalities used in the court room to overturn the truth. The law wins in the long run but it will forever be haunted by the truth! I admire the work done by lawyers in the TV Show-Criminal Minds-but regret what actually happens in our real court rooms where the LAW always favors ‘clever’ legal minds (arguments) and not necessarily the TRUTH.

I have been inspired to raise this discourse in the light of the recent outcome of George Zimmerman trial in Florida, USA during which the all-female jury voted to acquit him of all charges of killing Trayvon Martin; and the drama as well as expectations surrounding the Supreme Court verdict which is to be given soon in the 2012 Presidential Election Petition case in Ghana.

As a social commentator, I add my voice to those who advocate for justice in all decisions taken by our courts. My only fear is that the law at sometimes does not allow the truth to prevail. To many, justice is therefore denied! For example, juror B29 in George Zimmerman trial in a recent interview with the media has regretted not standing by the ‘truth’ to resist pressure on her by the law to join her peers (five other jurors) in acquitting George Zimmerman. News report says, she said that, Zimmerman "got away with murder" for killing Trayvon Martin and feels she owes an apology to Martin's parents. "You can't put the man in jail even though in our hearts we felt he was guilty," said the woman who was identified only as Juror B29 during the trial. "But we had to grab our hearts and put it aside and look at the evidence." She said the jury was following Florida law and the evidence, she said, did not prove murder. Florida law indeed! Not the truth which brings justice and peace!!

It is obvious from juror B29’s assertion that the law of Florida did not prove Zimmerman guilt of murder though the truth is that he murdered Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager. The protest against the verdict is huge in the US! In Ghana, the 2012 presidential petition case before the Supreme Court, according to the law of land, will be judged on evidences and closing presentations to be made by both the petitioners and respondents. There have been calls for acceptance of the verdict by the SC by all Ghanaians in order for peace to prevail in the country. In fact, we have published in our editorial in this issue concerning the election petition before the SC that, “Many people in Ghana, the right-thinking ones, are hoping that whatever decision comes out of this exercise will be accepted in good faith by all parties.”

It might be true that President John Mahama was wrongfully proclaimed the winner of the 2012 presidential election by the Electoral Commissioner (EC) as being claimed by the petitioners. On the other hand, it might be true that President John Mahama genuinely won the elections despite some irregularities in the election process as have been argued by lawyers representing the EC. The burden of proof is obviously on the petitioners who sent the case to court! Witnesses have been called and evidences have been submitted at court. The law of Ghana in the first place permitted the petitioners to go to court to challenge the result declared by the EC in the 2012 presidential election. The same law obliges the judges (SC) hearing the case to look at the evidences submitted to the court and the performances of witnesses from both the petitioners and respondents to arrive at their verdict. They will therefore in the interest of the law of the land have to explain the verdict to the people of Ghana. The verdict could be unanimous or not! However, the biggest question is that will the law of our land ‘allow’ the truth to prevail? Maybe the truth will later ‘call’ for amendment to the law of our land too, as we are witnessing in USA after the verdict in George Zimmerman trial. We wait to see!

It is our hope that the LAW (the judges’ interpretation) will reveal and support the TRUTH in the case so that justice will be done for peace to prevail. God Bless.

Columnist: Eyiah, Joe Kingsley