A call to start and support Jail or Prison ministries.
As experienced legal translator working for NC court of Justice, community centers and a US law firm I used to work for an attorney once told me : ” the one client I really hope never to get is a genuinely innocent one. The criminal law system has no way to handle them. The system is about making deals. More than 90% of all criminal cases are resolved by plea bargaining. The innocent defendant has nothing to bargain with. All he can do is take his chances at trial, and, if he loses, be penalized a lot more heavily than if he had confessed to some fiction. Evidence is usually provided either by police officers who are absolutely convinced of the defendant’s guilt or indifferent to the possibility of his innocence on this particular charge (“if he didn’t do it this time, he probably got off on something at least as bad that he DID do”, or by accomplices or jailhouse snitches who have strong incentives to testify to whatever the prosecutor wants, or by eyewitnesses who are at least as likely as not to be mistaken. And the cases are driven by the prosecutor, who has the freedom to decide what offenses to charge, rather than by the judge, whose sentencing options are almost automated. And, finally, we have no idea how an innocent person is supposed to behave on trial. If he protests his innocence, he must be lying. If he merely sits silent and depressed, that must be consciousness of guilt. If he smiles, confident that justice will be done, he must be a monster. If he loses control, he’s crazy, but not legally insane. I know of no law school that teaches its students how to defend an innocent client. Anybody can defend a guilty defendant. Defending an innocent client is almost impossible”.
It strikes me as odd that as synagogues, Messianic congregation or simple home based groups we have not spent more time, at the very least, discussing the issue of wrongful conviction in Latin and North America. A leader name Jim Boyce has a sermon called the Illegalities of Messiah’ Trial and in it he points out that Messiah was the victim of a wrongful conviction–among many other injustices. If we say we follow Messiah shouldn’t we be concerned about, at the very least, the injustices that he suffered in his time on earth? I fear for the Jewish , Messianic Believers and groups when Messiah separates the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-46); Hebrew 13:3.
If you can ‘t start and support a jail ministry , can we at least make ‘A Prayer for the Incarcerated (those in jail)” ? Here is one:
Lord, please Bless the incarcerated (including congregation)
Let Your Perfect Justice cut through and aid them now.
Help them to repent of any wrong doing so they come out a better person and closer to you Jesus.
Grant them Mercy so that they may be released at the earliest possible moment and go home – reunion their families!
“…With GOD all things are possible.” St. Matthew 19:26