Friday, October 20, 2006

J-U-S-T-I-C-E, not J-U-S-T U-S

Watching last night’s debate, I kept wondering what Kerry Healey would do if someone she loved – say her husband – were arrested for a violent crime? What if it were a particularly brutal crime: a rape or a murder? What if he was convicted but maintained his innocence, or she believed there had been a miscarriage of justice? Would Healey tell the police to lock her husband up and throw away the key?

We all know the answer to these questions. Healey would fight for her husband. Like Bernard LaGuer, she would use her intelligence and articulateness to rally support for her husband’s case. And she would take the funds she’s been using to defame Deval Patrick’s character for the last few weeks and get the best defense attorney money could buy.

EVERYONE is someone’s husband, or daughter, friend, etc... That’s one of the reasons why there’s the presumption of innocence in our criminal justice system, and why we’re all entitled to a defense. Another reason is that, without these protections, we have the kind of tyranny the folks in Lexington and Concord were fighting against years ago. Healey knows this, but to get elected she has consciously chosen to denigrate these fundamental rights and liberties. That’s immoral.

From Healey’s antipathy toward the justice system, to the Bush Administration’s attempts to suspend habeas corpus, wiretap without warrants, institute military tribunals, and legalize torture, Republicans seem to hold in contempt the freedom they so often extol in their speeches – except when it’s Scooter Libby, Jack Abramoff, or Mark Foley in the dock. Maybe they’ve forgotten; it’s J-U-S-T-I-C-E not J-U-S-T U-S.


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