Justice was done in the Chauvin trial because the process happened. Plus, a few quick thoughts.

By Gary Abernathy

The verdict wasn’t why justice was done in Chauvin trial

Like most people, I agree that the guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial seem to be the correct conclusions. But that’s based on what I know about the case, and that’s the well-known video capture of George Floyd being pinned under Chauvin’s knee, and countless other stories in the media presenting the information that was publicly known. I wasn’t on the jury or in the courtroom during the trial, which can cast a whole different light on any event.

The consensus seems to be that “justice was done.” Yes, it was, but we knew that before a verdict was reached. Justice was done because a trial was held, and Chauvin was judged by a jury of his peers. That’s justice, regardless of the verdict that was reached. As I’ve mentioned before, a wise judge once told me, “Justice is a process, not a particular outcome.” In other words, justice is the process of the investigation and, if warranted by the facts, an arrest, trial and verdict. Justice is not reaching a particular outcome.

That’s why it’s unfortunate when politicians like President Biden or Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) issue statements about reaching the “right” verdict. They should know better. Telling Americans that only one verdict – in any trial – can represent justice is a dangerous attitude. We should share an understanding that our laws and processes, when carried out as they should be, are what really represent justice.

Still, Floyd’s death galvanized the nation. No one could watch the videos and be unmoved as Floyd slowly died while crying out that he could not breathe. The episode particularly impacted the black community -- here’s a moving piece by Suzette Hackney in USA Today explaining why.

Quick thoughts

·         There are actually stories in newspapers today telling us what the late night comedians had to say about the Derek Chauvin verdict. Seriously, there are. Because that’s what some people consider important now.  

·         Have we reached the point yet when Anthony Fauci is not the guy who gets to tell us what to do anymore? We should.

·         Steph Curry, star guard for the Golden State Warriors, is a great offensive weapon. He is not among the game’s overall all-time greats. Why? Because he’s not a player who, by himself, makes a team a contender, like franchise players past and present (mostly past) such as LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, and countless others. Curry is having a career year and a great stretch of scoring feats, but his team is struggling to stay in the playoff hunt.

·         Various stories suggest that most Americans who have not yet received the covid vaccine don’t plan to do so. Maybe if they told people that if you get vaccinated you can go back to a normal life – ditch the masks, hug your grandma – folks would line up around the block.

·         Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants marijuana legalized within a year. Because that’s where his priorities are.

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