DWI Victims and Advocates of Justice Speak Out

Many people are frustrated and are beginning to think that American justice is under siege. Politics, slick lawyers, inept court systems and big money seem to be influencing how justice is meted out at all levels.

Basically, our nation is slowly redefining the term illegal and the defi nition of justice. To many Americans, lady justice is no longer blind, and her scales are far from balanced. No place is this more evident than in our own community of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, where hundreds of families struggle with the consequences of being victims of someone charged with driving while impaired.

Here, the wheels of justice turn much too slowly for victims, families and friends of those devastated by these people. DWI victims suffer every day, not only from their injuries and cherished loss of life, but equally from the indignities served to them by a judicial system that seems to have reached an all time high in new lows for how it uses the law, lawyers and the court system itself to become advocates for the perpetrators and criminals. This leaves the victims and their families frustrated, without justice or closure, sentencing them to a lifelong purgatory of sadness, humiliation and unreconciled grief.

Over the next five weeks, you are going to hear from these victims and their advocates for justice. You will read first-hand accounts about their actual experiences in Cumberland County court. You will hear how they cope with a legal system that projects a greater advocacy for the crime and criminal than justice for the victim/plaintiff. 03-28-12-dwi.jpg

Our purpose? To make our community aware that this problem really does exist. It is also to acknowledge that as long as this injustice continues to be perpetuated on the residents of Fayetteville and Cumberland County, our children, residents, streets and communities will never be safe from the growing and impending danger of DWI violations.

During the next five weeks, we will try to find the answers to these questions and many more:

Why is the state considering moving the federal courtrooms to Raleigh where local traffic and DWI offenses on Fort Bragg would be heard more than an hour away? If you think justice is slow now, wait until this move becomes a reality.

Would this not further delay justice by creating hardships on the victims, their attorneys and the arresting law-enforcement offi cers by dragging out the adjudication process?

What responsibility do the district courts have in actually trying to hear a case, as opposed to simply continuing them or dismissing them for inexplicable reasons? And, why are more cases not being heard?

How much is it really costing Cumberland County taxpayers to have local police offi cers and North Carolina Highway Patrol officers sitting in a district court room needlessly for hours just because the case might be called? What is the cost in terms of loss of productivity, public safety and crime prevention as they spend most of a day doing nothing at taxpayer’s expense?

Have the above procedures become the standard practice for granting “no reason” continuances while stalling for time, hoping for dismissal because the arresting offi cer has fi nally left the force and cannot testify? No testimony… no conviction.

I hope you will read and study these accounts. Share them with your friends. Contact these victims. DWI is a very bad, bad, bad thing. DWI is not a victimless crime and it should not be made to look that way by a system that rewards the criminals, persecutes victims and makes a mockery of justice while slick lawyers get paid big bucks because they have learned how to manipulate our courtrooms like so many puppets on a string.

Do criminals have more rights than their victims? Here in Cumberland County … I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. We love to hear from our readers. Send your letters and comments to us at editor@ upandcomingweekly.com. If there is something you would specifi cally like to share with me, you can always reach me at bbowman@upandcomingweekly.com.

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