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You Can Handle the Truth: U.S. Justice System Promotes Defense Over Truth, Creates Moral and Psychological Death Sentence

Etan Patz’s Killer Confessed; Truth Easier on the Psyche than Freedom

With the recent confession by Pedro Hernandez, the alleged Etan Patz killer, more than 30 years after the crime, speculation abounds about what made this outwardly free man confess and incur consequences. While he was likely to live in apparent freedom for the remainder of his life without the confession, I believe the effects of guilt and lies on this man’s mental health held him psychologically and spiritually captive and created moral and psychological decay that was too difficult to bear, forcing a confession.

In the tragic case of little Etan Patz, we see how lack of truth can create unbearable stress that actually eats away at a person from the inside and can lead to mental illness, as seen in this case where the alleged killer had been diagnosed with both bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. In addition to the individual corruption that occurs as a result of crime that goes unconfessed, we also see distinct corruption in our justice system that can lead to moral decay within our society as a whole.”

Our justice system today seeks for lawyers to primarily mount a vigorous defense, rather than focusing on uncovering the absolute truth and the effects that such a goal creates.

Our justice system no longer seeks truth and justice; defense attorneys are far more interested in clearing their clients of wrongdoing, even if they actually committed the crime in question. The result is a culture of lies that pervades the so-called justice system and trickles down to the daily “justice” that we implement in our everyday lives. What a terrible message we are modeling to our children. We need to shed the light of truth on every aspect of life to reverse the moral decay that this lack of truth and justice has created.

Our justice system defines its role to be, “Provide the best and most rigorous defense for the accused.” Who and what standard gets to define “best and most rigorous defense?” As we see in this case, hiding the truth and getting someone off with no penalty, no accountability, no forgiveness, no opportunity for them to make restitution, and then constantly looking over their back wondering if and when they will get caught is an even worse and inhumane prison to condemn a person to. This psychological and spiritual prison eats away physically, psychologically, and spiritually, and leads to many diseases and dysfunctions. How is that a proper and healthy defense in the best interest of the accused?

Our justice system is the butt of so many jokes and trust in “the justice system” is at an all-time low. Why? Because the primary goal of our high courts is not the exposure of the truth. The truth will set you free, not free from your crime, but even better, free from the psychological and spiritual consequences and decay that is inevitable when truth isn’t pursued and exposed .

Insisting truth above all and refusing to settle for lies and ambiguity as well as returning to a basis of faith for daily life will begin to reverse the moral relativism that plagues our society today.

As a society, we used to adhere to a Judeo-Christian standard of morality that insisted on truth as a precursor to justice. By returning to the light of truth and the light of God, we can strengthen hearts and minds and begin to reverse the decay that we’ve created in American society. For those caught in a web of lies, an experienced Christian therapist can bring the psychological skills and spiritual truth and power to facilitate God’s lasting healing process for any past transgression.

 

karl-benzio-1Dr. Karl Benzio MD, Christian Psychiatrist, writer, speaker, media guest expert, social issue activist, and the founder and clinical director of Lighthouse Network. Benzio brings scientific expertise and biblical principles together to examine common daily struggles and help people successfully navigate life’s storms. His experiences include teaching pastors, ministry leaders and students about counseling, leadership, parenting, marriage, and conflict resolution skills in traumatized areas like Uganda, Kenya and post-Hussein Iraq. He is currently a member of Focus on the Family’s Physicians Resource Council, the Pennsylvania Director of the American Academy of Medical Ethics, and serves on many other social policy task forces. His specialties include adolescents, addictions, decision-making and infusing spirituality into treatment. Benzio shares psycho-spiritual insights via his Stepping Stones daily devotional, on his one-minute daily radio feature “Life Change with Dr. Karl,” on 425 Christian radio stations and on iDisciple.org.

Email: KBenzio@LighthouseNetwork.org

Twitter: @drkarlb