Wednesday, June 06, 2007

American Redemption: Julie Amero

I grew up during an age of American legal giants. William O. Douglas, Ramsey Clark, Abe Ribicoff, John Dempsey, and a crowd of others. America, Connecticut, and the world would routinely witness the birth and rebirth of the American Dream as it pertained to justice. The little guy in America often got a fair shake.

All those so-called "activist" judges created a judicial system that was the envy of the world and is now a historic high-water mark that we can only dream of ever achieving again.

You see it takes vision, courage, and compassion for justice to flourish and these days, under the dismal and perverse direction of the Bush administration, nothing resembling justice dare expose itself. To this degree my understanding of justice is far different from what an American High School student might today expect to believe.

The rule of law must sound like a myth to today's student. There are no innocent defendants and turning in your neighbor, fellow teacher, or your parents is a national blood sport. And truth is just a word invented by scientists who can't prove a thing.

But today, a crack in the guilty-no-matter-what-machine appeared. Not a tiny crack. Today a marching band of international goodwill bulldozed across the landscape and did something extremely rare in American justice. Today, Julie Amero, falsely convicted of endangering the morals of minors, was granted a new trial because the first one was found wanting of truth, justice, and the American way.

Yes indeed folks, the American secret weapon for world domination was dusted off and taken for a test drive. It's a muscle car like its always been.

You're more likely to see cockroaches sunbathing than find someone who believes Julie Amero was a criminal today. Julie looked stunning from the Courant pictures taken at the courthouse today. And the smiles of relief exposed an obvious innocence that can't be manufactured by all the computer experts in this world.

Teachers in America can no longer fear being labeled a hypocrite for teaching that, in America, justice triumphs. It can and it does. No the system does not necessarily "work". In Connecticut, the system more resembles judicial racketeering than justice.

But today an indifferent, hubrionic system met its match. Citizens like you and me and our neighbors had enough of this bald injustice and refused to take it anymore. The system was cracked by goodwill, intelligence, and, most surprising of all, a resurrection of journalism that pundits like Steven Colbert ridiculed as being dead - intrepid, persistent, and unwavering journalism (Rick Green and Lindsey Beyerstein come to mind). And the judge hated it - accused bloggers of attempting "undue influence" on the court.

No, the system didn't work at all because it actually performed the task it was always supposed to perform - blind, impartial, compassionate justice. It surprised the hell out of everyone and, Julie's lawyer, William Dow III, deserves kudos for getting the thing running properly.

This is a happy day for all of us who blogged, investigated, and championed Julie Amero and Wes Volle's cause.

May today represent a return to blossom of the American judiciary. Lord knows it's long overdue. Today's ruling is what American justice should look like. Let's be sure it's not a shooting star.

There's a ton of great material out today on Julie.

As they used to say in the newspaper business, READ ALL ABOUT IT!

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Karoli said...

Let me be the first to applaud you for being such a strong voice of reason in this case. It was your blog post (found via Liz Ditz) that lit a fire under me and put this case right at the forefront of my attention-deprived brain.

This post is just as inspiring in a new, refreshing way -- yes, the system did work, warts and all.

Thank you for your excellent and passionate coverage of what could have been an enormous travesty of justice.

Anonymous said...

Watching the post trial footage was a real delight, but sadly there are still people who believe Julie was guilty- see Brian Krebs' blog/the Norwich Bulletin comments section- probably the result of all the 'why didn't she just pull the plug' reporting. A lot of effort still needs to go into explaining that Julie is totally innocent. The Norwich Bulletin for one needs to be pressured into running the true story. If there is a retrial, hopefully the full facts will come out. If not, Julie needs to press for compensation to expose those really responsible.

Thanks for all the reports on the case and everything you've done, and beast wishes from the UK.

Nancy Willard said...

Yes, the system worked and it appears that an injustice is on its way to correction.

But the reason it worked is because the people who realized there was an injustice spoke up. And we also came together - through the Internet - to more fully investigate and to push for justice.

And, Dear Judge Hillary, had we not rallied to undo the unjust result of an unjust trial, justice would likely not have prevailed.

Anonymous said...

As part of the comments section in Rick Green's story today, there is a link to an e-mail transcript that will convince anyone who doubted it that Mark Lounsbury is stark raving mad.

Congrats to you for your diligence and loyalty. Now let's hope Julie doesn't have to set foot in a courtroom again. And like a previous poster, I agree that the Bulletin was complicit in the witch hunt.