Saturday, November 19, 2011


Help! Angry Michiganders...

Over the weekend, an op-ed I wrote is appearing in six Michigan newspapers. You can read it here. It is part of a series on Juvenile life without parole, a sentence that has become both frequently used (relative to other states) and controversial in Michigan.

Check out the comments-- typical of them is the one currently on top, which asserts that "Once a killer always a killer." I'm baffled by such certainty, which is exactly what I am questioning in the article. If you have time, please read the article, make a comment, or post it to Facebook.

Let us not forget that a large majority of people in Michigan are mad about a lot of things in life due to the economy. And deer hunting season just opened and they have been sitting, freezing in deer camps and upon deer stands in the woods.

That said, if this were in the St. Pete Times in FL you would unfortunately receive similar comments from the trolls that live under their aliases on the internet.

I rarely find thoughtful comments on article comment boards due to this. It is not always a place of civil discourse, but a personal, yet very public, to release ones frustrations with few consequences.
The constancy of your commitment to this and many causes is a blessing for many drawn to your orbit. Your concerns expressed through words and (your) actions add our voices and prayers, though much more subtly, to the discussion(s). Is this "... the best we can do (to) manage and try to limit the spread of tragedy."

"I’ve spent my career prosecuting criminals, teaching criminal law, advocating reforms, and studying our criminal justice system. From all of that, I am convinced of only one absolute truth: That all of it, every bit, is tragedy."

The forum offered that you have embraced speaks to more than this one injustice. Your words and actions are constant whispers reminding us to stand up, speak out, act to confront and attempt to end, change or influence - with the same zeal - the injustices and tragedy that permeates the lives and realtionships we are most familiar with.

For the example, strength and encouragement, I am sure many thank you, vocally or silently - I do, confident you will continue to do so - always!

The first voice initiates, the voice of many brings change...
It was very frightening reading the comments on your article. Given the rhetoric of some of them I couldn't help wondering whether pushed just ONE step they wouldn't fall in the same murderous sociopath category. I couldn't believe no one responded to the comment “there are less expensive ways of getting rid of problems” ...what? a concentration camp? Are these Michiganders for real?
Got your back, Mister. Comment posted. It was a beautifully written piece. Thanks for that.

Even though much of the other side's reasoning seems very good, I wish they'd aim for a better target. The fact that no rehabilitation will ever be guaranteed shouldn't automatically stop people from trying, even if it is only for the rehabilitator's sake.

I'm sympathetic to their anger and hope they can step outside of it.
I also posted.

I am not unsympathetic but I agree, Marta, the certainty and bravado of a number of the posts is very disconcerting.
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