The cost of justice

What is justice?

Justice, in simplistic terms, has been described as getting to the root of truth, both sides moving toward uncovering the light. Yet, that is not what occurs, rather, we have individuals, forgetting they have a shared mission, and we wind up with bi-partisan justice.

We offer tonight a quote, and will give you reference to the article, and invite you to not only share this with others, but to share with us your reactions. We hesitate at this moment to pontificate as to our views on this quote, before we hear from you…………….

Justice Texas style: make it end

We point you to a particular quote in the article, as follows:

“In 1998, Judge Keller wrote the opinion rejecting a new trial for Roy Criner, a mentally retarded man convicted of rape and murder, even though DNA tests after his trial showed that it was not his semen in the victim.

“We can’t give new trials to everyone who establishes, after conviction, that they might be innocent,” she later told the television news program “Frontline.” “We would have no finality in the criminal justice system, and finality is important.”

Gov. George W. Bush eventually pardoned Mr. Criner.”


“We can’t give new trials to everyone who establishes, after conviction, that they might be innocent,”

No, of course not judge, we wouldn’t want to give the benefit of the doubt to innocence would we? Much tidier to just lock up the might be guilty.

Additionally, the article notes the judge is a devout Roman Catholic. Now I ask you, why not make some multi-level comments? Does not the Catholic church decry the protection of innocence?


16 thoughts on “The cost of justice

  1. It is amazing how locked stepped our thinking can become. I am sure that this judge is not an evil person or in general an unfair one, however this judge is a person who became lock stepped in the way they think. This judge could for whatever reason not see beyond the pile of cases that cover the judges bench. There is also ego at play, to allow this new evidence to be entered my turn around the judges decision, a decision by which the judge has ownership of.
    Glad that Bush made a correct call on this one.

  2. I remember a time when our society easily tolerated the release of 100 guilty persons for the sake of not convicting just one innocent man. It would seem that Judge Keller would have 100 innocent persons remain incarcerated for the sake of potentially releasing just one guilty man (although the evidence suggested non-guilt). Is Judge Keller alone in this view, or has our enlightened society come full circle?

  3. I just wonder why so much power is given to only one person. By power I mean why only her opinion of rejecting a new trial was taken at the time.

  4. I thought the standard for conviction was “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Forgive my naivete, but if a positive DNA test is enough to convict any man of rape, shouldn’t a negative DNA test result be at least worthy of a “reasonable doubt”?!?

  5. Well, it depends I think Tumel.

    The power given to the judge is in many ways to arbitrate, to balance the scales if you will, of what is presented. However, judges are human and bring in a host of subconscious and unconscious issues that may unwittingly and unfairly tip the scales wrongly.

  6. C: I think in some ways, there may be a reverse on this notion. It may be that the means/efforts/consequences are allegedly justified so that in law enforcement minds, not one potentially guilty person goes free. It is a very difficult intellectual and emotional dichotomy. How to balance the horrible things we see and hear on the news, the actual events of people harmed vs. the alleged fairness of justice? Very, very difficult. Namaste.

  7. ToBeMe: I am not suprised you have a kind and open minded response. I agree, this one or two incidents should not hallmark this otherwise human being, the judge, as “bad”. I wish though, she could have foreseen the consequence of not considering innocence and wonder how she would be changed if the person appealing to her was one of her own blood or friends? Very difficult the concepts of justice.

  8. I think this “judge” (for the lack of a kinder word) is getting away with attempted murder!

    More so than anyone likely reading this, this judge should know better – does know better! The consequence of her action is not subtle, and reaches far beyond the poor soul she chooses to send to death. Ask anyone at the Innocent Project ( for a perspective on life during and after incarceration for a crime they did not commit.

    Like Pontias Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea responsible for the execution of Jesus of Nazareth, Judge Keller chooses to wash her hands of the matter. Unlike Pontias Pilate however, Judge Keller can visit her priest each weekend, make a donation and thereby be forgiven for the consequence of her actions. Must be great to be a devout Roman Catholic.

  9. Dear Frank:

    Welcome. You know, what you say hits upon the obvious truth, yet so often buried. (no pun intended). Is it any less a crime to close our eyes to the possibility of innocence? I say no, and it seems, that is what you are saying also. How can we ever, as a society, I hesitate to say an illuminated society, allow innocence to be cast aside for convenience? It makes me literally ill.


  10. This is a tragic story. So often, too much power is given to one person. From reading the article, I’m not really sure she was even aware of the decision she was making at the time. I’m sure that justice will work its way out for her case…one way or the other.

  11. Awareness or not, you would think a negative DNA would be a tip off, no? The story was complicated, given, it was two part, first she refused, allegedly, to consider negative DNA for someone convicted of a crime and then, years, I think later, she was presented with the issue of waiting on papers for an appeal/clemency to stop a death penalty issue. Yes, separate issues, just wondering why we as the human race can’t do better for our own from day one.

    Peace girl.

  12. I think this judge needs to be taken off the bench, she does not understand justice in this country. I wonder how many more judges there are just like her. Thanks for sharing this.

    Love and Blessings,

  13. The above quote only makes sense if you accept that it comes from a place of ego and power. I think ToBe is correct. It’s about the unyielding ownership of the original decision.

    To be unable understand that what was presented then was reasonable, but now it is not does not speak to any brand of “Justice” I was raised with. It does speak to immediate removal from the bench as it does not uphold the laws or constitution of any state, much less these states.

    Nice blog.

  14. Oh, oh, oh.

    on the one hand, i want to say, she needs to step off, because how can she even believe innocence has no value?

    on the other hand, to say same, I’m doing what she did, advocating her dismissal when maybe she too, is misconstrued.

    we are many times an unkind species.

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