The scale of Justice seems to always be off – balance.

From the arrest process to court hearings. Many can argue that they never had a fair – day in court.
Let’s face it, America’s system of Justice, systematically is unfair to minorities. Though this article is not written to point out all of those cases, trust that one would not have a hard time in finding the disparity.

This is why it is important for people to be active and vigilant in their communities. Ensuring and demanding for actions that better serve their families and communities by way of voting and electing those that represent the “face” of the community and have a positive interest in it’s welfare.
These steps can easily tip the scale of justice, forcing changes in the current climate of the Nation’s racial and judicial injustices.

This is highlighted by the actions of a Louisville, Ky. Jefferson Circuit Court Judge; Olu Stevens.
Judge Stevens was displeased with the disproportionate number of black jurors serving in his court.

Last week, the proceedings of a drug trial were halted and the entire jury panel was dismissed. Jdg. Stevens called for a new jury group to be selected.

Jdg. Olu Stevens

Judge Stevens expressed,

The concern is that the panel is not representative of the community.

A new jury panel followed despite objections from both the defense and prosecutor.
This would not be Jdg. Stevens first time dismissing a jury because of it’s “misrepresentation” or disproportionate number of minorities.

These actions have solicited the involvement of the Supreme Court, where it is going to determine whether the judge is abusing his power.

On Nov. 18th 2014, Jdg. Stevens felt it was, “troublesome”, that a 13-member jury chosen for a theft trial ended up with no black jurors. He would dismiss the panel at the request of a defense attorney.

Judge Stevens shared,

There is not a single African-American on this jury and (the defendant) is an African-American man, I cannot in good conscious go forward with this jury.”

The next day a new jury panel was selected.

“Jefferson County has long had a problem with minorities being underrepresented on local juries. Several black defendants have complained over the years that they were convicted by an all-white jury – not of their peers.

The Racial Fairness commission – a group made up of local judges, lawyers and citizens – has studied the issue for years, monitored the make-up of jury panels and found them consistently lacking in minorities.”

As Appeals Court Judge, Denise Clayton, explains,

Based on population the panel should be at least 21 percent African-American“.

Jdg. Clayton continues, sharing a previous panel selection case (October 12, 2015), where the percentage was 14.

So we’re not really hitting the numbers that we need to…“, concluded Clayton

Jdg. Stevens, rightfully, has shaken the courts and is forcing attorneys to be responsible.
In an interesting fashion, Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and Attorney General asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to look at the issue and see if Jdg. Stevens has the authority to dismiss jury panels “because of a lack of minorities”.

Should judges take it upon themselves to try and ensure a more representative jury?

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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They have been called “Hoverboards“, Segways and by the definition of the Metropolitan Police of the UK, “Self-Balancing Scooters“.
They have become popular overnight, worldwide, these boards have have found their way on side streets, parks, playgrounds, malls and even airports!
The surge of these boards are partially due to their affordability, convenience and what so may say, a satisfaction of a past fantasy. Let’s face it , it was 26years ago “Doc” Dr. Emmett Brown (Christoper Lloyd) promised us one! Him and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), in the movie Back To The Future II, traveled to the “Future” of “October, 21, 2015”, where the “Hoverboard” existed! It would seem as if it was prophesized.

This all means nothing to the MPS who have just announced that the “Self-Balancing Scooter” is illegal to ride in public in the UK.
Real-Time MPS Tweet
MPS Tweet

This has also been a discussion with the MPS on Twitter in real-time as well. Their justification for this lies within the lines of the Highway Act 1835, under section 72.

The Crown Prosecution Service have supported that “it is against the law to ride them on any public road, including the pavement, and that they should only be used on private land.” This is the language written under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835.

The MPS have also provided, through their Twitter, the CPS, FAQ:

  • 1.”I have a self-balancing scooter and I want to ride in on the public road, is it legal for road use?”

    No. Vehicles must be approved via ECWVTA or MSVA in order to be licensed and registered. Self-balancing scooters would not currently meet the requirements of these schemes so are not legal for road use.

    2.”I have been riding a self-balancing scooter on the public foot-way (pavement) outside my house, have I committed an offence?”

    Yes. It is an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 to ride or drive a vehicle on the pavement. It is only an offence under this Act in England and Wales. In Scotland it is an offence under section 129(5) of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.

    3.”Where can I ride a self-balancing scooter?”

    You can only ride an unregistered self-balancing scooter on land which is private property and with the landowner’s permission. The Department for Transport would advise that appropriate safety clothing should be worn at all times.

    4.”I have seen people using electric bicycles on the road without registration. Why are they permitted but a self-balancing scooter is not?”

    Bicycles are covered by different rules to those applying to self balancing scooters. Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles must meet the requirements of the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983. Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles that conform to these regulations are considered to be pedal cycles and as such are allowed to use cycle facilities such as cycle lanes on the road and cycle tracks away from the road which other powered vehicles are prohibited from using. A self-balancing scooter does not meet these requirements as it cannot be pedaled.

Clearly this encroachment upon the people does not create a warm relationship between the police and it’s community. It seems to be the “modus operandi” of the police and government, another action to seize control and in their words…MONEY! Not once has the mention of safety been an issue, but the MPS did “tweet”, “It’s because they’re technically motor vehicles & therefore have to be registered, licensed & insured to ride on public roads.

"It's because they're technically motor vehicles & therefore have to be registered, licensed & insured to ride on public roads."

“It’s because they’re technically motor vehicles & therefore have to be registered, licensed & insured to ride on public roads.”

So in true “Big Brother” fashion, like a game of chess…The police and the UK government have made their move.
It will be interesting to see what leads from this ban and the impact it will have on the sale and cost of these “Hoverboards”.
So if you are in the UK and own one…remember walk…don’t ride!

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