ABA Journal


Criminal Justice

Young victims and their families are blamed after physical attacks

Jun 24, 2013, 06:17 pm CDT


These stories are some of the saddest things I have heard.

By John on 2013 06 24, 8:20 pm CDT

One day suspension?! No jail time? That is ridiculous.

By Island Attorney on 2013 06 24, 11:46 pm CDT

Well, I suppose they need to ditch the "victim" mentality, suck it up, and start packing heat like everybody else. Then, when the bullet-riddled attackers whine, these communities will pile on them. What was it Patton said? "Americans love a winner, and will not tolerate a loser."

By B. McLeod on 2013 06 25, 6:04 am CDT

No. 3's comment above seems pretty drastic --

But this is something we need to remember. A "justice" system which does nothing to deliver justice is no system at all. If the system doesn't work, and is widely seen not to work, it should come as no great surprise when various assorted victims [real victims, not the ones who are always whining away on TV talk shows] start "taking the law into their own hands."

Whenever that happens we always get the same pseudo shocked responses from the pillars of the Bar. How dare they! How dare Prof. Dershowitz (accurately) accuse the police of "testilying" all over the place? -- and for years? How dare various aggrieved killers finally come forward to stab, shoot, or otherwise deal with their long term bullying tormentors? One can only hope and pray that the aggrieved won't then take their frustrations out on everyone else around them when that happens.

MENTAL CUE -- think various mass murder scenarios here, and ask how many of those were fuelled by pent up rage on the part of the killers, who were enraged by different forms of bullying which had gone unaddressed. This is in no way a universal answer to the "why?" question behind Columbine and so forth, but it explains some of what has been happening over the last several years.

The real question is -- rather than ask how dare the vicitms of bullying strike back -- ask instead, how do WE dare fail in doing our jobs?

Ultimately, we are all officers of the court. We are sworn to represent clients, yes... but we are also sworn to promote the cause of justice. That can mean taking on the cases of unpopular victims like the young fellow sodomized by the wrestlers, suing not only the wrestlers, their parents, but also the school system. And it can sometimes mean political action, too. How about loud and vocal recall elections for the school board, shaming them in public? How long will that little clique last, exposed to the harsh glare of publicity?

How about shaming the police/prosecutors/judges who seem to have mishandled these cases from the get-go?

In reality, we cannot issue a blanket indictment of all these folks based on nothing more than a press report. But it certainly sounds as though they have had a massive train wreck in the Colorado and Indiana justice systems. And letting it go... time after time... will result in very bad consequences.

The law is only a tool after all, and obsolete tools get discarded. When the law tool goes into the garbage, anarchy takes its place. And anarchy is the ultimate end to all hopes for justice.

By SavannahGuy on 2013 06 25, 5:19 pm CDT

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