For anyone who has become cynical about what goes on in American courts today, the entire Tonya Craft saga of the past year provides ample ammunition for such a viewpoint. What are some things we have witnessed firsthand that make one wonder if any judge anywhere in this country has the will to do right? This only is a short list, but it is a beginning:
- "judge" Brian Outhouse clearly tried to rig the proceedings in an attempt to engineer a conviction against Tonya, and the ashen expression on his face after the announcement of the verdict is proof that he had no intention of conducting a fair trial;
- Prosecution witnesses committed perjury, something that has been documented in this blog many times. These are not mere "allegations" or possibilities of perjury; the proof is ironclad and the facts are indisputable;
- Prosecutors lied, suborned perjury, fabricated false evidence, disrupted the proceedings (with encouragement from Outhouse), attacked the defense in violation of all ethical standards, as listed by the Georgia State Bar (not that anyone there cares about prosecutorial misconduct), and demonstrated themselves to be pathetic bullies;
- "judge" Brian Outhouse time and again refused to let in exculpatory evidence, knowing that even a "law-and-order" appeals court would overturn a guilty verdict, but by then Ms. Craft would have served many years in prison;
- A number of people in official positions either lied under oath or shaded the truth in violation of the law, including the prosecutors, Outhouse, and Det. Tim "Dirty" Deal, to name a few. Outhouse had unreported ex parte meetings (a violation of judicial ethics, not that anyone in authority in Georgia gives a damn about such things) with at least one prosecution witness (Sandra Lamb) and prosecutors Arnt and Gregor.
What I am saying is that the court system of the LMJC is on the same level with what existed in the old Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. It is no better, and, in fact, it is worse. Unlike "Dirty" Deal, no one in the U.S.S.R. or Nazi Germany claimed to be a "pro-life Christian," and unlike Outhouse, none of the people went to a local Baptist church. In other words, those court systems of those disgraced regimes made no claim to be doing real justice; they just had raw power and they used it how they wished.
So, Tonya Craft has been able to face down something akin to Roland Friesler's court, and still has prevailed. Today, she faces another situation and one only can hope that Judge Marie Williams will not reward Joal and Sarah Henke for committing perjury.
This last point is instructive. When people flout the law, as have Joal and his wife, they should not be praised or rewarded by judges or anyone else. The Henkes have no business having any children in their household, as they are open and arrogant lawbreakers, and they should be in prison, for perjury is a felony and both of them knew they were lying under oath.
I will go one step further. If Judge Williams grants custody to the Henkes, then she will be announcing to the entire world that perjury works, and will be encouraging future witnesses to lie with impunity.
What is at stake here is not simply a custody issue. What is at stake here is the truth. Courts are supposed to be places where the truth rises to the top, not sinks to the bottom.
I will go even further. There is no better lesson to teach young children than to demonstrate unequivocally that telling the truth is more important than anything else. Joal and Sarah Henke have told lies from the beginning, and I am sure that they will continue to lie (under oath) during these proceedings.
No one -- NO one -- should be rewarded for lying under oath in a situation like this. One hopes and prays that Judge Williams understands this point and does the right thing.