Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Nice Pork

Sanchovilla had a downer "you work for the criminals, right?" moment this week, entitled "Bad Coffee."

I thought I was going to have a similar moment this weekend, but it turned out all right. The nice pork was some mouth watering home-grown pork roast served at the Christmas party the Tripper family went to on Sunday.

We were invited to the party by one of the other families in our home-school group. There were a couple other home-school families, assorted relatives, and other members of their church at the party as well. They're a pretty conservative bunch.
How conservative, you ask? Well, one of the grandmas (early 40s, actually) was asking Mrs. Tripper and me for book recommendations for her 9 year-old granddaughter. We knew not to recommend Harry Potter, and went with C.S. Lewis' Narnia Chronicles instead. Not so good. Grandma felt her granddaughter wasn't ready for that kind of content. Too much magic and such. Well, that also nixed Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time Quartet. We did suggest Marguerite Henry (Misty of Chincoteague) and Frances Hodgson Burnett (Secret Garden, Little Princess)

Anyway, we were smalltalking, and conversation got around to what I did. I talked about indigent defense and Matthew 25:40 and the big chunk of our work that is social work.

Then the bomb:
"Have you ever got a murderer off that you knew was guilty?"
"No, but I have done that with a rapist."

and nobody shut down. They listened to the story.
Guy gets accused of rape; positive ID; convicted, sent to prison.
A dozen years later, exonerated by DNA, released.
DNA matches my guy, already in prison for a different rape.
BUT, the statute of limitations has expired.
(Short explanation of the S/L)
So the legislature changes the statute of limitations in order to charge my guy.
(Book grandma asks, "They can't do that, can they?")
(Short explanation on the history and origins of the Ex Post Facto clause, English abuses, etc.)
I say they can't do it, Supremes come out with Stogner that says they can't do it. My guy's case gets dismissed, he goes back to prison for the rape he was convicted of.
Discussion of sometimes its the Rule of Law and the Constitution you're defending; the DA has to obey the laws and constitution just like we do.

And then conversation meandered off in a different direction.
Now, they may have just been being polite, but it was nice to take the plunge into the "how can you represent guilty people" explanation without getting chilled or boiled.

Sorry you had a bad one, Sancho, they won't all be like that. I don't know if they have venti, no-whip, half decaf, extra shot, long, dry, non-fat, extra-hot latte, with a twist of lemon out here, but we've got some damn good BBQ with your name on it.

Jack

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