RANDOM AND CONTRASTING THOUGHTS ON ATTITUDES AND JUSTICE
May 15, 2015
Not every post is about what cases we’re winning, losing, or simply struggling with. This past week I’ve spent a good deal of time simply ruminating about two opposite but telling things I’ve read. Let me share them with you:
First, last week, I received one of those e-mails from an old school friend of mine, addressed to a substantial number of recipients, that reminded me what is so wrong abut our discourse now.
The e-mail was as hyperbolic as could be, warning that the ACLU was suing the Navy to stop Navy Chaplains from using the name of “Jesus”.
I of course, took a moment to verify such a claim, and found two things: #1, the claim was false, as noted by Snopes, and even a Catholic affiliated website, among others. (Here’s a link to the Google Search I did in that regard: https://www.google.com/search?q=aclu+navy+chaplains+jesus&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8) and; 2# This e-mail had been trolling around and been forwarded on for more than a decade.
As a long time supporter of the ACLU, I thought that these intelligent people, are blindly, without any critical thinking at all, forwarding along these types of hateful and deceitful messages.
I couldn’t and didn’t hold back. I asked my old friend to remove me from his list, and I e-mailed him and his whole list this thought:
“Which is worse, the scurrilous fellow who makes up the lies, or the fellow that simply passes them along without any verification?”
These type of uninformed, hateful and fearful attitudes have a chilling affect on our justice system, not only because folks occasionally are called to serve on juries, but never forget that judges and attorneys are also human and fallible (and often as gullible as the next person).
Second, and because I want to sign off on a very positive note, the New York Times had a terrific blog post on the Editorial Page about the gentleman who was the “hold out” juror in the recent Etan Patz mistrial. This gentleman had the courage and fortitude to follow his instructions and do his job as a juror. Isn’t that the type of individual who we’d all want as a juror if we had a case go to a jury trial?
If you get the opportunity it is a worthwhile read, and you should read the readers’ comments as well. here’s the link: http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/11/in-etan-patz-mistrial-a-latter-day-henry-fonda/
Have a good weekend.