Some time back, I wrote a post about justice. At the time, we were already a year and a half into Ayla’s disappearance. That was twenty months ago. What does justice for Ayla look like at this point in time?
For over thirty eight months, Ayla’s family and friends have been awaiting justice and what it would bring them as individuals. The community has been waiting for the peace of mind justice promises.
I know people in law enforcement as well as a prosecuting attorney and criminal defense lawyers. I have talked with some of them about Ayla’s case as we the public know it. Their insight has been enlightening.
Law enforcement officials I have talked to include a county sheriff, a chief of police, a detective, an investigator, and patrolmen. I have explained what statements have been released by LE and what the maternal family has released as being unconfirmed. They all expressed the belief that Maine State Police know what happened to Ayla and who is responsible, but the burden of proof in today’s society is the hold up.
One attorney who I talked to had a defense perspective. He has ties to Maine and gave good insight. He says that no individual is going to be cleared until a charge is brought forth in Ayla’s disappearance. That is how a case is handled nationwide. To do so before charges are made can jeopardize the success of the case. He also said that Maine’s laws are different and provide challenges to both LE and prosecution that other states do not have.
That leaves Ayla’s case an open case. Ayla’s family and friends are still tainted with possible suspicion and doubt. Ayla’s community is still left to wonder who the perpetrator of a crime against one of their own could be. And Ayla is still missing.
Justice delayed is indeed justice denied.
Are there degrees of injustice? Perhaps there is, although justice and injustice may be like truth verses lie, an absolute, black or white, not gray. The philosophical debate dates prior to Socrates. Whether there are degrees or not, some injustices, or should we say ramifications of injustice are harder to accept.
The ultimate injustice for Ayla lies in the fact that she has been left in limbo. In the absence of an official declaration, everyone is left with, and entitled to, their own opinion. For over three years different thoughts on what happened, who is responsible, and is Ayla alive or deceased have been expounded upon. While opinions may vary, what happened to Ayla is a known fact to at least one person.
A crime has occurred, Ayla is missing, and not of her own accord. No matter what your personal belief may be in regards to Ayla’s plight, any possible scenario involves someone having knowledge of Ayla’s fate. One or more individuals are a part of callously leaving Ayla shrouded in mystery. She has been banished to uncertainty and doubt. She has been denied closure, a publicly accepted accounting, and reunion with her family or a final resting place.
As one person said, “I could eventually forgive an unintended death in the heat of the moment, but not the hiding of the body and the truth of what happened” (paraphrased).
Perhaps instead of calling this post “What is Justice Now?” it should be “Where Is Justice Now?”.