ethel’s words

Click your browser’s “Back” button to return to SmashingIkons

JUDICIAL PROPRIETY: A JUDGMENT BY AN UNLETTERED OBSERVER

Without specifying any example, a need for some thinking about judicial behavior in Court, seems obvious. There is no point in protesting that there are excellent judges; they shine. But, any judge who verbally abuses a prisoner who has already been sentenced--has lost freedom, cannot respond in self-defense, has been stripped of the last shred of dignity--that judge should evaluate own behavior.

After the necessary (and we hope accurate) truncation of a life, to further beat down a human (though it may be a horrid monster) is simply dumping one’s own aggression, own predilection to do violence--and this on a restrained and intimidated derelict: it does nothing to discredit violence and hate.

Because most of us must depend on observations and reports of others in any given situation, it is difficult to measure the role of prejudice in a court’s behavior. The oft-reported verbal abuse of ethnic minorities, the uneducated, the mentally ill (what horrors are paraded before us) seems never matched by admonitions to the educated and even affluent and on to the powerful--who steal the funds of the poor, and abuse (in any manner) human children. The on-going (for centuries) abuses by Euro-Americans and their Courts, of Native Americans, is a crime so vile that the continued prosecution and persecution sickens and saddens fair-minded observers. The continuing never-prosecuted theft--to this day--of Native American funds, water, land, and deprivation of rights and protections, is unspeakable. Yet, these victims are often the butt of bullying from “high” authority.

It should not happen.

Ethel C. Hale