Empathy & Justice: An Editorial

I wanted to take this time to address a few important issues with respect to me & this case. Does any one know the feeling of running late on a rainy Monday and having a flat tire, with no spare on a busy road and no one stopping to help?  Of course. Everybody has those days. You couldn’t buy luck. Everything cosmically falls apart for no apparent reason.  Imagine having that day in perpetuity. How bad would that day be if you got stuck with that day as your “Groundhog Day”? We all feel bad for that person, because we understand how that feels.  We have walked a mile or more in those shoes. This is empathy. We feel the pain because we have been there.

Justice. The great equalizer–in theory. We all like to see Lady Justice with the scales balanced and the good guys wearing their white hat prevailing at the end of the day. We all like to see the bad guy behind bars and throw away the key.  But we all know also that justice is supposed to be blind. With those blinders comes the inevitable injustice or various shades of gray that make up the overwhelming distance between “cosmic right” and “cosmic wrong”.  In this gray space lays the Billings’ murder case.

Was Byrd Billings & his family victimized? Yes but they were also predators.  Are all the people involved in this case guilty?  None of them were angels. But does that make them guilty? And guilty of what? The reality of this case is entirely the gray area between right and wrong. Patrick Gonzalez was a thug; he was an addict; he was involved in illegal circles with varying degrees of criminality, but if he didn’t commit this murder, is it justice to say he should be in jail for the other illegal acts he did commit or could have committed but for this case?  Possibly. The case could be made for that, but does he belong on Death Row? No!  Strangely enough, this isn’t the answer most people have. I was appalled by that.

I have been told that it is justice that he is on Death Row even if he didn’t murder those people because he was a criminal with intent to harm others if nothing else by reckless disregard.  Patrick, just like most of the other alleged conspirators, was associated in something bigger than himself. Honestly, a great deal of people who are involved in this cases on the periphery are just as associated with this bigger evil as well. They sat in front of the jury, soaking up the spotlight with crocodile tears. If Patrick belongs where he is, so does Blue Markham, Justin Billings, Cab Tice and most certainly, Hugh Wiggins.

Who among us would put their entirety of their lives on display for the public? All the domestic disputes, evictions, traffic violations, misdemeanors, etc. Who among us would put all their dirty laundry on media display and come out looking rosy? Yet these men were and still are. The bad decisions, choices, and associations are there for their legacy to echo. I find that people like to point fingers as to not have others look at them.

Do I like Patrick Gonzalez? I never did prior to this case. I couldn’t stand him. Is it ok to just let him be killed by the state because I didn’t like him? No! Is it ok to let karma swallow him up for crimes he could have committed or didn’t get caught doing? NO! I don’t know about anyone else but when it comes to Death Row, I would like to be damn sure he is the right guy. After reading all my other  posts, is it possible that something besides the “official story” could have happened?  Most definitely. Would you want your life hanging in the balance, when your actions might have been improperly perceived?

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