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September 19, 2006


As the first few posts begin to describe the background and the reasons for our little conversation, let us digress here to pose a rhetorical question to assist in framing our issues.
Yesterday, two criminal defendants pleaded guilty to charges against them and helped raise a serious concern with which we will be dealing. Congressman Bob Ney and former college football player Maurice Clarett both now face sentencing after prior vehement protestations in the press over their innocence and the unfairness of their prosecution and those bringing it. Each defendant went before a judge and admitted, under oath, that he was pleading guilty because he was indeed guilty.
Rep. Ney made his own pre-plea yelps (dutifully re-broadcast by radio and blog syncophants), and it is his responsibility to now to own up to his persistent lying.
Maurice Clarett, however, has basically remained silent throughout this process. It is his lawyers who have continually howled his absolute innocence (and the attendant unfairness) in the variety of cases he faced and to some of which he has now admitted guilt.
This situation raises a question of responsibility that is frequently ignored: how are Clarett’s lawyers “off the hook” for their untrue statements, for their unfair and unsupported attacks on the legal system and the process of justice (and on the facts themselves)? Is this all really just show business as usual or is the system entitled to some respect and the players to some form of personal responsibility?
Is it any wonder that most people pronounce “lawyer” and “liar” the same?

Posted by Brecher at 07:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2006

Assisted Suicide, Nancy Grace Style

One of the more insidious aspects of the “justice as entertainment” media trend that Brecher writes of is not only does it fail to properly educate the public—worse, it perverts justice. Exhibit “A,” the hideous Nancy Grace and her typically repulsive “cross-examination of Melinda Duckett, who promptly committed suicide after tangling with Grace. Andrew Sullivan has the video. If Duckett did have something to do with her son’s disappearance, Grace’s inexcusable performance has made it much harder to find that out. If Duckett is an innocent and tragic victim, then don’t we need to cross-examine Grace?

Posted by stevemack at 11:11 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"A Whitman for our Time."
- Jerome Loving,
"Stephen John Mack's The Pragmatic Whitman: Reimagining American Democracy, [is] The most thoroughly informed philosophical reading of Whitman to appear in decades. Mack develops the premise . . . that Whitman shares with John Dewey a vision of democracy as a 'civic religion' in America, a profoundly secularist and progressive perspective.

- M. Jimmie Killingsworth, Texas A & M University
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