Irony | Teen Ink


October 2, 2008
By Callie Manning GOLD, Lantana, Texas
Callie Manning GOLD, Lantana, Texas
14 articles 0 photos 0 comments

In this particular story, a man is convicted of a crime he did not do. His home, his family, his business, and his life are stolen away from him simply because he’s the closest one to blame. People think they have control over their lives, but they don’t. Your life is completely in other peoples’ hands, with freedom nothing but an illusion. If a driver goes to faster, he is fined. If a criminal doesn’t answer a court summons, he goes to jail. If a student doesn’t turn in their work, they get a detention.
The American legal system is accused of being ‘just’. I will assume that you have never been to a prison, and neither have I. So, I suppose we will never see the haunted look in a man’s eyes as strangers decide he should be torn away from his home and family. We’ve never heard the strangled wail of the prisoners as they sleep, plagued with nightmares. And we never will, because as a human race we shield ourselves from anything that might be disturbing in the least, that might tell us that we in fact do not live in a perfect world.
How many people do you think are in prison at this moment that are innocent? Every one out of twenty prisoners? How about one out of ten, or even one out of three. They have never done a study, because how could you really know if someone is innocent or not? How do you distinguish the innocent, pleading for justice, and the liar who hopes he’ll get lucky?
You can’t. There is no quick fix, no shortcut out. We can put our heads in the sand and hope the problem solves itself as a storm grows stronger around us.
I know you expected me to talk about how ironic it is that an innocent man goes to prison, how he meets the real killer and dies just before his release, just like the hundred plus papers on your desk do. But we both know more than enough about that, and I think it’s time to shine a light on something else.

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