Strange kind of justice – Poem dedicated to Stephen Lawrence

Strange kind of justice
That takes a life of 18 years and takes 18 years more to serve
Where only some of the guilty get the punishment they deserve

Strange kind of justice
That can allow killers to grow freely into adulthood
Yet deprive that of the bright, beautiful young man they brutally took
 
Strange kind of justice
That allows racism to thrive even though it’s against the law
That supports a judicial system that’s rotten to the core
 
Strange kind of justice
That regards some lives as cheaper and more inferior than others
And allows the innocent to live in anguish and suffer
 
Strange kind of justice
That allows the injustice of murder and prejudice to thrive
And keeps the ignorance of discrimination alive
 
Strange kind of justice
That leaves mothers, fathers, families, communities in pain
That dares to take the names of equity and liberty in vain
 
Strange kind of justice
That looks on with disinterest whilst families fight for a lifetime
Whilst the guilty unremorseful and defiant are given a lifeline
 
Strange kind of justice
That offers a distorted, biased imbalance of scales
Tilted to keep murders and racists away from the jails
 
Strange kind of justice
That sees a police force cast aside facts and evidence
Disregarding human rights along with reason and sense
 
Strange kind of justice
That requires wealth and power in order to be accessed
That shuts its doors on the least empowered and the poorest
 
Strange kind of justice
That would see a mother  set aside her right to grieve
Forced to challenge all those that failed her and dared to deceive
 
Strange kind of justice
That would take credit for a family’s perseverance and tenacity and dare to celebrate
When it eventually and only partially delivered eighteen sad and painful years too late
 

By Zita Holbourne
For Stephen Lawrence, a bright beautiful young man