Thursday, October 29, 2009

When Talebearers Ruin The Innocent

Three recent cases: Guy Randolph , Edwin Chandler and Shawn Drumgold drew my attention to this problem; the damage of talebearing. 2/3 plus percent of death sentences handed down are false . There are some cases that people know fully well that the person serving the sentence is not guilty but because of “privileged communication” an innocent man is left to rot in jail . The center of wrongful convictions ascertains that “Snitch Testimony is the Leading Cause of Wrongful Convictions in Capital Cases” .

These are some of those cases where rather than justice being blind it sees, and selects its victim. These are some of those cases where the law fails to protect the innocent and gives credence to talebearers. These are some of those cases where innocent livese are destroyed just to convict a criminal and make a big name in a prosecutorial career . These are some of those cases where innocent people are falsely accused and locked up. These are some of those cases where some who have poor counsels or could not even afford one quickly accept plea deals even when innocent. Therefore, today I want to talk about the snitch or the talebearer as the Bible calls them.

I had gone to Mbalmayo where I was attending some theological classes. When I came back for holidays, the wife of one of our late pastors from Kumba: mama Ebako informed me that the daughter was attending University of Yaoundé where I live but she lives far, and has to attend classes by taxi. So I told her that was easy; when I am away she can come and live in my house.

One early dawn two sisters in Christ came to visit me for prayers. As they knocked, the young woman opened the door with her loin on her chest. They asked for me, and she told them that I was not home. They then ran to the area pastor to inform him that they caught me in flagrant fornication.

The Rev called me and asked me about it. I pled to face my accusers. He joyfully brought them so I could confront them. In our mini inquisition, I merely laid bare my alibi, and asked them to call the director of the school and mates. I was in Mbalmayo on Saturday night, and slept in my dormitory with my mates. On Sunday morning, I was in church with the others. So it could not be me. One of the sisters confessed that she was behind the first sister, and it was the first sister who told her she saw me sleeping. If it was in the Napoleonic era, I would have faced the guillotine caused by talebearing.

A second was one of my students who told the class that she saw me in her aunt’s party dancing with one of her friends, and I was drunk. She had two other witnesses who seconded that they actually saw me, and I was dancing crazy. I had not attended any of their parties and so I asked her when. She told me that it was on July 5, 2008. The date coincided with the time I was in Houston for our MECA convention. When I told them that I was out of town on that date, she said then it was my brother (though i have none in America). Imagine that I did not go to Houston, and did not have a solid alibi, and they said it public with impetus added from her companions as witnesses. The drama would have been disciplinary measures that could leave me jobless. Talebearers can be so dangerous!

Another classic example that many of you may know well is Silas Marner. You know how some people usually pass the lie detector when they are guilty, the same lie detector could falsely implicate someone because every machine fails.

In Silas’ case, it was not a lie detector but lots because that was the only method they used in those days to determine truth. The church money was missing and the members after finding the money in Silas’ house, and casting lots, accused Silas of stealing the money. The immediate consequence was that he lost his good name and then his fiancĂ©e: Sarah who dumped him for his friend: William Dane. Silas goes on self exile concluding that in Lantern Yard “there is no just God that governs the earth righteously, but a God of lies, that bears witness against the innocent”. A life is almost destroyed because of false witnesses and a snitch. Most of these people who serve at times as state witnesses whom people call snitches are mere talebearers.

The Israelites were adjured never to bear false witness (Ex 20:16) or serve as a talebearer (Lev 19:16). Today those who say they go to church can accuse you with impunity and stand witness on a thing they know nothing about. Some of the so called snitches are what the Bible calls talebearers who cannot keep a secret. A faithful person is one who keeps secret (Prov 11:13). When a criminal in jail for murder comes up with a confession, and people believe him or her, it makes me wonder what type of society we are living in. Those words of the talebearer penetrate into your faith and fate (prov 26:22) as you witnessed in the life of Silas Manner or some of these guys.

The Bible tells us to avoid those type of people but instead we tend to cherish them (Prov 20:19). The talebearers come to light fire in someone’s life that will burn their future (Prov 26:20). When you sit on a jury and condemn someone as guilty, I hope it is based on inductive and deductive reasoning, and not the histrionics of the crown counsel.

However, note this one thing: “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28). Pray for those who accuse you falsely, for God has a way of rewarding them. At times like Harman, they inherit the gallows they helped prepare for others (Esther 7:9) or at times nature takes hold of them from one calamity to another. But other times you get caught redhanded like Johnson and Simmons case.

Until then, mind you as you accuse and help convict innocent people.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk



“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk).
Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk).

Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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