This has been both an interesting and challenging week for me as a lawyer. First, there was the not guilty verdict in Wisconsin; second, the civil suit verdict for the plaintiffs in Charlottesville; third, the conviction of the three in Georgia. Each of these verdicts says something about the American judicial system.
There can be little question that the judge in Wisconsin set the tone of that trial in his prohibition of the word “victims” and the requirement that the two men killed could only be referred to as “looters” and “protesters,” not to mention the fact that the weapons charges could not be found if the shooter was found not guilty.
Charlottesville and Georgia were very different cases: one a civil suit for damages, the second a trial for murder. Here, the judges were neutral, neither supporting the state or the plaintiffs. What’s really important in all three of these high profile cases is that we as a society do not limit the discussion of their meaning or their impact. Free and open discussion is essential to a free Nation no matter where it leads us.
Prayer for the Day
Torn and jagged, brokenhearted and at times in sorrow,
We come to you, O God, for solace and redemption.
Smooth our souls as the rocks of the sea become smooth stones,
Shaping us into a Nation of righteousness and mercy.
Grant, O God, that we overcome the fires of hate
So that we emerge a Nation committed to justice.
In the name of the One who came to bring your justice,
Even Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Thoughts for the Day
We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice, or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.
Benjamin Jowett, English clergyman and writer (1817-1893)
Outrage without an accompanying action turns into paralysis.
Sr. Helen Prejean, death row visitor
O let the evil of the wicked come to an end but establish the righteous,
You who test the minds and hearts, O righteous God.
God is my shield, who saves the upright in heart.
God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day
Psalm 7: 9-11