State of President Obama's Union, 2011
ne of the primary functions of government is to keep us safe – not only from foreign enemies but from fellow citizens who’ve turned to crime. We function best when we feel safe and secure in the world. It allows us to unlock our creative minds, produce more and better work and give back to society in the most positive ways.
So, as I watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech I listened carefully for what he would say that would address American’s concerns about crime and justice and help us feel safer. After all, consider recent events. Shortly before the speech, in states across the nation, eleven police officers had been killed in the line of duty in a 24 period. And the country is still reeling from the shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona that left 6 people dead and 14 wounded, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
I was disappointed with the speech. [click to continue…]
Jaime and Gladys Scott Breathing Free Air Again
Over the years there have been torrents of tears, rejected legal appeals, heartfelt rallies and now after nearly 17 long years there is finally clemency for Gladys and Jamie Scott. It’s a case that has had injustice written all over it from the get go.
The Scott sister’s 1994 conviction came on a crime they insist they played no part in – an armed robbery in which no one was hurt and about eleven dollars was stolen. Testimony at trial was completely contradictory and in later years witnesses admitted they’d committed perjury.
On Friday, January 7th, 2011 Gladys and Jamie jubilantly left the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility yelling, “We’re free!” and “God bless y’all!” They moved immediately to Pensacola, Florida to start their new lives. [click to continue…]
Thinking of Ways to Make a Safer and More Just World
ouldn’t it be wonderful if the commandment to “Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself” was the only law we needed?
Strictly adhered to that would be enough to curb crime in a big way. There would be no murder, assault, fraud, burglary … well, you get my drift.
But as this New Year dawns we all understand that we’re way past biblical pronouncement at this point. Today society must have laws and rules and regulations. But I often heave a big sigh and wish they worked better to get crime under control!
In years past I’ve used this first column of each New Year to list my wishes for the crime and justice system. For 2011 the list is pretty simple … [click to continue…]