What’s in a name? - Columns - Explorer

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What’s in a name?

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John Flanagan

John Flanagan: It is amazing, isn't it? Judges can make wrong decisions, as this was one of them. Some people have the book thrown at them far beyond the nature of the crime, while others who do far worse get special treatment. There are injustices built into our legal system. For this reason I recoil when some lawyer or TV pundit will say, " We have
the greatest legal system in the world." No, we do not have a system where defendants in some countries are tried and convicted on scanty evidence, then taken out and shot. Yes, we do have trials with juries, due process, evidence presentation......but these things are regularly corrupted by lawyers, prosecutors, and juries. The allowance of some evidence and the suppression of other evidence can also effect the outcome of trials.
If this mother were to name her baby a pejorative word like "Meathead"(after his father, of course), or "Dummy", then I could almost agree with the Judge, but the name "Messiah" or "Jesus" ( a common Hispanic first name in some Latino cultures), then why couldn't this judge just leave this poor woman alone? I suppose a good Appelate court might reverse it. Our legal system is decidedly imperfect and we, as citizens, must monitor it and speak out when abuses take place. It is our responsibility to do so often.

Thursday, August 22, 2013, 9:19 am

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