Archive for Tuesday, October 12, 2004

No violence

October 12, 2004


To the editor:

We abhor violence of all kinds: make-believe TV violence, playground-bully violence, thug violence, violence by men against women, the latter being especially reprehensible. And we believe in meaningful punishment of scofflaws and criminals, frequently railing against slap-on-the-wrist criminal sentences, almost always basing our knowledge of the case in question on what has been reported in the newspaper.

After the sentencing last January in a local case of male-against-female violence there has been a great deal of public railing against not just the sentence (perceived as too light) but also against the judge in the case. Which is, itself, another kind of violence -- violence against personal reputations -- also abhorrent, especially in a situation like this where the attacked cannot "fight back" even with a verbal response.

We have known Judge Paula Martin for almost 20 years and when she was appointed to the bench we applauded the choice of someone as thorough, caring and thoughtful as we knew her to be. In the years since, we have watched her mature into one of the most conscientious, wise and scrupulously fair persons we know. We are convinced that, as the judge in this case, she knows more about it and about the law governing it than any of us who get our knowledge from the news or other sources and we have absolute confidence in her judgment in the matter.

In condemning violence one should not, in turn, do violence to someone who is as much a credit to our judicial system as Judge Martin is.

Bill and Jean Mitchell,


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