New Castle News

April 1, 2013

Lisa Madras: Forget the law, let’s break the entire system!

Lisa Madras
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE —  What makes you angry?

Oh boy, is this a loaded question for me! Where do I start, and how long are you willing to read before you nod off from the sheer exhaustion of trying to finish my list?

I've been told on numerous occasions that I'm an extreme person, that there is little middle ground for me and everything in my life is either at one end of the spectrum or the other. This is true. I'll own it. Comedy and tragedy are the perfect symbols of my life, and the same can be said about my personality: I always seem to be either really happy or really upset.

The half of me that's happy is the consummate lover of all things — sunshine, rainbows, unicorns! The half of me that's not gets really ticked off when someone comes along and takes out my unicorn with a crossbow.

I've been dealing with the legal system for years now. And just when I thought that ordeal was finally over, I got to play reindeer games with the justice system yet again.

I've learned the hard way that justice really is blind, and that for some reason, criminals seem to be afforded way more rights than victims. This, my friends, is unicorn-slaughtering at its finest. You can dress the legal system up in pretty suits and make us common peons address everyone as "yes, sir" and "no, sir," but at the end of the day, we all know that "justice" does not necessarily equal "fairness."

That fact is not new to me. After all, I've worked in the media for quite a few years.

I'm angry when I read stories of pedophiles who don't spend a day behind bars, and then turn the page to read a story about a woman serving a life sentence for stealing $10. (This really happened.)

Frivolous lawsuits from people slipping on ice or dumping hot coffee on their laps gum up our legal system even further. Archaic laws (did you know it's illegal to sing in the bathtub in this state?) stay on the books because nobody has the initiative to change them.

I have many friends who work for the legal system, so I'm by no means blaming any individuals. But quite frankly, I'm sick to death of hearing that our system may not be perfect, but it's the best we've got.  

It's not even close to perfect. It's not even close to being the best. It's broken with a BIG, FAT, CAPITAL B! I wish I could say that I had the time, money, resources, and connections to do something about it, but I simply don't. And because of that, I'm angry.

I'm the first person to say that if you don't like something, change it. I'm also the first to say that if you can't change it, learn to accept it. I guess I'm not always so good at following my own advice. I asked what makes you angry, and told you what makes me angry. I'm thinking that if you don't like my response, you could always sue me.

In the meantime, though, make sure that when you're driving down a country road at night, you stop every mile and send up a rocket signal and wait 10 minutes for the road to be cleared of livestock before you continue.

It's the law.