I’m a huge Al Pacino fan. I think I’ve seen just about every film he’s been in and have thoroughly enjoyed every performance, even if the film itself lacked. Just two evenings ago, on a lark, I ordered through Netflix And Justice For All. I saw it when it first came out those decades ago, but was in a ‘what the heck’ mood.
If you recall, one of the tragic absurdities raised in the film was the refusal of a stone-cold hearted judge to review evidence that exonerated a convicted fellow because the evidence was submitted three days beyond statutory discovery limits. Then, this morning I read the story of a Texas judge, Sharon Keller, who had ruled similarly concerning the Defense’s submission of DNA evidence that proved a condemned man did NOT commit the crime for which he was to be executed. (
And the judge’s reasoning? “We can’t give new trials to everyone who establishes, after conviction, that they might be innocent. We would have no finality in the criminal justice system, and finality is important.”
I wholeheartedly agree with Judge Keller in that “finality is important,” which, most especially in capital cases, is why exculpatory evidence must always be permitted to be submitted for review. “Oops — sorry” following the “finality” of the execution of an innocent person rings as just not completely satisfactory.
But now, by what term can you refer to this woman judge who continues to justify her judgment in the case as she does? Loathsome? Despicable? Reprehensible? Disgusting?
Tell you what: I absolutely hate the ‘B’ word. It most frequently degrades the user of it at least as much as it could ever the object of the highly derisive epithet. But, as it could have been me, or you, innocent, yet nonetheless facing “finality” because she is of the opinion that having it “is important,” lest the system be slowed down, if there is anyone who can fault me for calling Judge Sharon Keller a scum of the earth b*tch, please provide your argument.