Matt Gaetz: The Justice System Failing Us

Ryan McKean, Senior Multimedia Editor

Many put faith in the justice system, as they should, but after a recent case debacle, individual’s blind faith in the justice system has become questionable. The courts formally decided not to charge Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida, a four-term congressman who has been in the political game for years. Gaetz was under review related to sex trafficking allegations. The courts had to inform the witnesses of their new decision and not pursue legal action against him.

After years of a thorough investigation against Gaetz for possible violation of sex trafficking laws and obstruction of justice, prosecutors concluded not to press charges against Gaetz. In a statement, Gaetz denied all charges and said he never engaged in or paid for sex with an underage girl. Though the saying goes “innocent until proven guilty,” with proof and witnesses, many raise the question of whether the justice system made the right decision.

Gaetz, a representative of the U.S. government, should not act as an exception to cut corners in any judicial case. Despite their position, all men or women suspected of a criminal offense should receive the same treatment and consequences. Status should not be a factor when determining the outcome of their fate. The only thing that should stand as a factor is evidence and witnesses pointing towards their potential guilt. Factors that should be considered debating someone’s innocence or guilt should be evidence and witnesses, not status, etc. 

Prosecutors tried to determine whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old. The supposed underage girl was introduced to Gaetz by Joel Greenberg, a former Florida county tax collector and associate of Gaetz, who in May 2021 pleaded guilty to six federal charges, one of them being trafficking of a minor. This made matters worse for Gaetz because if one of his associates were related to this type of activity, it posed a question of Gaetz’s involvement.  

Additionally, the prosecution team decided to investigate a trip Gaetz took to the Bahamas in 2018 to see if he had paid illegally trafficked women to accompany him. All signs pointed towards Gaetz’s guilt, but the judicial system decided to ignore them and leave him a free man.

A case like this only proves the hypocrisy within the judicial system — not wanting to pursue charges after a man who supposedly transported and had sexual activity with underage girls.  The judicial system decided to drop the charges after finding out all of thisthese new incriminating evidence. Which is why this decision has become so controversial.

Even with one of Gaetz’s ex-girlfriends giving her testimony and key information to the case, possessing information related to sex trafficking allegations and an obstruction allegation, and having multiple key witnesses, it was still not enough to convince the judicial system to pursue legal action. At this point, what else could the courts have been given to pursue action against Gaetz? Apparently, it was not enough. 

After years of investigating a man who has connections to the criminal world, he has been released and could commit the same crimes again. He could even get away with it because the judicial system often turns their eye on their own kind. Everyone should receive equal treatment when going against the courts.

Gaetz gets to go off and perform his daily routine while knowing the actual truth. The justice system failed the possible victims all because of his status. It can be declared that in cases where the defendant is in a powerful position, the judicial system holds them above the law.