VOICES: ‘No Justice, No Peace’

“Martin Luther,

How Are You

I Feel Your Spirit

Coming Through

I Wonder, If You came Back

What would you say?”

The opening lines of a song I once wrote come to mind as Dr. King’s Life is honored. I do wonder what he would make of the current affairs in our country. In this time of remembrance, I reflect on a phrase attributed to him and recited on many marches since his assignation, “No Justice, No Peace.” Through my filter, I review the last 7 plus years of my nephew’s incarceration by the State of Hawaii’s Justice System. It begins with my trip to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office shortly after Edward’s 10-year sentence started. Mandatory minimum sentences demand 10 years for second-time offenders. And most recently ends with a conversation with the Administrator of the Private Prison Facility in Arizona which houses Hawaiian inmates.

Edward was sent back to Arizona with over 100 other inmates in late September. When I fielded a question to him asking why the Department of Public Safety would send anyone to a facility that experienced a COVID outbreak he denied there had been one. But then he justified it with four words, infractions — extenuating circumstances — and overcrowding. Generic responses for cruel actions. And yes, Edward contracted the virus, along with over 674 other inmates from Hawai‘i, well two lost their lives. Oh…but he could have been paroled to a model organic farm on Kaua‘i and shifted gears from a punitive model to a restorative model based on rehabilitation.

My interfacing with our justice system and its employees hasn’t been a pleasant one. Questions I ask are often muddled in deception, manipulation, rank assertion. In short, not user friendly. One employee wanted to know who I was “anyhow”, and how come he’d never heard of me. I took pause on that one. Once, a Judge, in response to a certified letter I mailed to him, said to a courtroom of strangers, “And I don’t know who your relatives are Mr. Alapai, but I think they’ve been watching too much television.” That remark is permanently seared in my mind!

Edward’s time behind bars is 17 years now. He had a brief 6 months of freedom between the previous sentence. Statistically, it is the average time before recycling. Recidivism in Hawai‘i is 50%. A failed model.

The cost to the tax payer is enormous. The daily cost for housing an inmate ranges between $78 and $150 per day. Multiply that by 17 years and you get the idea. But apparently, he still hasn’t been rehabilitated. Hard to bend the mind around the cost of destroying a young man, to the pittance it would cost to rehabilitate him.

And yet there is no vested interest with our politicians to save the tax payers money. Nor is there concern over what happens when this damaged human is tossed out to their relatives or the community to pick up the pieces.

So, Dr. King, Thank You from my heart for your brief monumental monument in time and all you left us with. My sorrowful heart repeats as a mantra, “No Justice, No Peace.” And this connection to your legacy soothes the heavyweight I carry from year to year.

•••

Blu Dux is a resident of Kalaheo.

6 Comments
  1. advocacy January 19, 2021 5:35 am Reply

    You advocate for the criminal, not the victim. I will advocate for the victims and tell you to cry me a river . I will agree Hawaii has a failed penal model . I will suggest Indonesia has a better system , very few sent there to NK re offend after doing time there. Hawaii should scrap the current system, contract for bed space at NUSAKAMBANGEN at 15 bucks a day it will save us non offenders heaps of tax dollars. In indonesia the family members of the convicted will pay for their food or they will starve. The family will pay for medical or they may simply die. The family will pay their transport or they will starve inside a pit. In a cell there may be 8 men, the toilet is a 4 inch hole in the middle of the room. None of the people you write about would be where they are today had they spent a year there, its hell. If you were arrested here and did your time there, when you return you know rehabilitation is a winner for you. You will not re offend. MLK was not about granting freedom to convicts, he was about equality. MLK would not rally for you. I feel your pain, however the judicial system did not do that to you, a loved one did, their choices caused it, their actions caused it.


  2. USAF Brat January 19, 2021 7:41 am Reply

    mAhalo Blu Dux for this story! There are far too many that have been “systemized” via P.A. that are continuing generations of victimizing innocent peoples. The true kingpins in our society that mirrors the “guilty Kealoha stolen mailbox fraud” down to but not limited to the cocopalms hearings and other king-pins that assert ownership of land base throughout the HawaiianKingdom.org. At this point the P.A. office includes the victim witness program that share their office across the hall from KPD chiefs. This same P.A. and those hired P.I. before KPD BLUE was written or The Fifth Seal authored by Benish have been very happy with their collusionary tactics that they consider “conspiracy”, unless like myself you have lived it. Via 1973 KCC A.D. R.N.nursing program, a 35 year career at Wilcox Hospital as well as 20+ years beiginning 1979 to Iniki, owner manager operator of a live-voice 24-7-365 Emergency Call Center. In the Cocopalms Lihue courthouse hearing 3-years earlier, it was determined that i was “making trouble” and was twice attacked by court jester who tried to physically pick me up and remove me and when that didnt work, four sherrif took me out through the court’s holding cell in handcuffs and dislocated this old ladies shoulder in that process. Not arrested, Im released out the back courthouse garage. Thankfully the TGI media posted a video, that made the nightly news and as per their maneuvers, the news stated “she apparently was making trouble”. KPD had been called to the courthouse. Interview of all 30+ that had been interrested in observing and receiving justice got “licked” by the entire judicio-politico team players, that like the guilty “power couple” mailbox fraud never was addressed and has sat in the P.A. office under the rug, where these incidents are flipped in favor of those we are supposed to be able to trust! Those that earned trust are terminated and/or hire of a chief out from Las Vegas, who knows zero about the 128-years back-story or 1959 all-military Hickham AFB concon that somehow has enhanced the fraud without a treaty of annexation and why President Trump and birthers questioned the validity, U.S. citizen, of the grom who got 8-years in the oval office birth certificate that we all know is as fake as is the “statehood” ploy, or where TGI article publishes this same P.A. department plan to take over and move in to what was supposed to be an “adolescent treatment center” in Kapaia mauka the cemetaries. There are dozens of chapters and additional true stories, but in this case, I do not want to itemize them here, as TGI will somehow dismiss this writing and the public that needs to read between the lines. Truth and Integrity does not exist. Except now, we are absolutely certain with the voting scandal, that it is what it is. Narcissists never take responsibilities for their behavior or activities. Top to bottom these 1%-ers are in control and if youve been watching all of the new folks that are publishing truth to lies, they are being monitored or dead. My dad told me often, “you cannot fight city hall”. We will see how much longer this kind of terrorism continues or the Z/CCP is going to continue having a field day with innocence and make them guilty, instead of assisting as should have been done with the county councilman that was set-up to fail and continues to sit in Federal detention.


  3. therealhawaiian January 19, 2021 8:05 am Reply

    Do the crime, PAY THE TIME! What a bunch of milksop drivel. The poor criminal had to go to prison and there had been Covid there. Waaaa…. Obviously way too much time on one’s hands and a void of cognitive aptitude at work!


    1. Susan Straight January 19, 2021 3:04 pm Reply

      I so agree. To bring up Dr. King’s name in regard to a repeat criminal is shameful. Yes, he wanted justice. He wanted justice for the people unfairly imprisoned and persecuted because of their race, religion, or other unfair circumstance. Imagine how happy your nephew would be now on his organic farm if he hadn’t broken the law – several times. I don’t know what his crimes were, but you can bet they affected other people in a detrimental way. You need to find another argument for freeing repeat criminal offenders.


  4. Kamani January 19, 2021 12:10 pm Reply

    A 50% recidivism rate with a total population of 1.4 million in Hawaii is clear indication of a failed system. California with a population of 41 million and the second highest inmate population in the country dropped in recidivism from 54% in 2012 to 46%. Until laws are implemented prohibiting the very people who run the judicial system from owning stock in corrections in whatever form, there will be no incentive to reduce the prison population.


  5. Mr.Ford January 19, 2021 10:07 pm Reply

    MLK moved away from black rights and went towards human rights, CIA sent him a letter to kill himself.

    Malcolm X moved away from black power and went towards to human power…he ended up like MLK.


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