Wednesday 5th August 2020

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

A Lecture To Students Of Criminal Law

July 7, 2019 Featured Today No Comments

By DONALD DeMARCO

I did not deliver the following lecture, though I have given talks to law students. The following is based on a rather vivid dream I had. The essential idea in the dream seemed to have sufficient merit to be transcribed into a written article:
Good morning! I am most honored and pleased to have the opportunity to speak to you and I address you as future lawyers, judges, at the delta in New Orleans, a mighty waterway. Small beginnings can produce stupendous results.
Now I ask, what is the seed, the humble beginning from which the gigantic apparatus of this school of criminal law develops? I will write two words on the blackboard and ask you to think about how they relate to each other. Here are the words: “accusation” and “conviction.”
If a conviction rested solely on an accusation, life would be simple and there would be no need for a law school and the million things that go with it. If I accuse you of stealing my watch, you are thereby convicted of theft and there is no need for some kind of due process. The cold fact that you did not pilfer my watch is entirely irrelevant.
The most heartbreaking book I have ever read is The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark. In the story, two men are accused of murder and, without any supporting evidence, are executed. One of the victims is allowed time to write a letter to his wife, professing his love for her and insisting on his innocence. It was later revealed that the two men were innocent.
I was enraged by the story. Something crucial was missing, something that made it all too clear that a mere accusation is not the same as a conviction. That something, of course, is justice. And because we love justice, we go to elaborate means to help ensure that it prevails. We educate and train people such as yourselves to go through endless inconveniences to prove to the world that a conviction must be just and not merely the product of an accusation.
And so, we are all terribly inconvenienced because we must take the difficult road and make sure that justice, not accusation, determines guilt or innocence. There is an old adage that justice is “what the judge ate for breakfast.” There are more jokes about the law profession than about any other profession. Perhaps this is because the law poses ideals that are so difficult to realize. The kindest quip I have ever come across is that lawyers do not grow old, they just lose their appeal.
To make my point using two different words, let me salute you as “executives” and not as “executioners.” The executioner takes the easy way out. His main concern is power, not justice. Let us not follow in the footsteps of King Henry VIII who executed not only some of his best friends, but two of his own wives.
The inclusion of justice makes things more difficult, but it also makes things more beautiful, and all beautiful things are the result of surmounting difficulties. It also makes things more human, and human beings are who we all are. We abandon our humanity at our own peril.
Former Connecticut Sen. Thomas Dodd, who must have said wiser things, once remarked that “there ought to be a law so a man knows whether he is doing right or wrong.” Things cannot be that simple. In the final analysis it is not the law that determines justice, but justice that determines the law. And the law must rest on truth. The word “verdict” (verum + dicere) means to tell the truth.
As future ambassadors of the law, you must be devoted to justice and truth, values that are not always easy to come by. In addition, you need the courage to stand up for justice and truth. What went into the very building we are now occupying in terms of time and energy is prototypic of your own formation. Character that is woven of courage, justice, and truth requires time, but its flower is of inestimable significance to the world.
I recall a bon mot of G.K. Chesterton, who said, “If seeds in the black earth can turn into such beautiful roses, what might not the heart of man become in its long journey toward the stars?”
May God bless you and always be at your side.
(Dr. Donald DeMarco is professor emeritus of St. Jerome’s University and adjunct professor at Holy Apostles College. He is a regular columnist for St. Austin Review. His latest two books, How to Navigate Through Life and Apostles of the Culture of Life are posted on amazon.com. 12 Values of Paramount Importance is in process.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

How can the University of Notre Dame claim to be a Catholic college and hire pro-abortion Pete Buttigieg as a faculty fellow?

Load More...

Planned Parenthood acknowledges Margaret Sanger’s ‘racist legacy’, continues abortions

CNA Staff, Jul 21, 2020 / 11:05 am MT (CNA).- The New York affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion provider said Tuesday it will remove the name of its founder, Margaret Sanger, from its Manhattan building because of her support…Continue Reading

Statue of Virgin Mary beheaded at Tennessee parish

CNA Staff, Jul 15, 2020 / 10:40 am MT (CNA).- A statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary was attacked this weekend at a parish in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the third reported incident against a statue of Mary occuring in the same…Continue Reading

21 doctors tell bishops Communion on tongue ‘safer’ than in hand

June 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Twenty-one Austrian doctors have authored a letter appealing their country’s Bishops’ Conference to lift the de facto ban on receiving Holy Communion on the tongue, which has been enforced since Communion in the hand was…Continue Reading

Catholic priest among defenders of St Louis statue

CNA Staff, Jun 27, 2020 / 09:36 pm MT (CNA).- Fr. Stephen Schumacher, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, was among the defenders of a prominent statue of the city’s namesake as protesters called for its removal Saturday.…Continue Reading

‘I cannot remain silent’: Madison Catholic bishop condemns destruction of religious statues

Denver Newsroom, Jun 24, 2020 / 04:08 pm MT (CNA).- As rioters across the United States target statues depicting historical figures, the Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin on Tuesday denounced that destruction, along with calls to destroy some depictions of Jesus…Continue Reading

John Roberts tries to suppress Reagan’s letter

After three and a half years of legal wrangling, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in August of 1985 ordered the 16,433 mangled babies’ bodies found in Woodland Hills in 1982 to be turned over to the Guerra-Gutirrez-Alexander Mortuary…Continue Reading

Pope Francis declares Catholic sister killed in Satanic ritual a martyr

Vatican City, Jun 19, 2020 / 12:40 pm MT (CNA).- Pope Francis declared Friday that Sister Maria Laura Mainetti, an Italian religious sister killed by three teenage girls in a Satanic sacrifice, was a martyr for the Catholic faith. The…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: Catholics and Muslims share no common faith in God, no common adoration

June 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Athanasius Schneider has once more raised his voice concerning the controversial February 4, 2019 Abu Dhabi Statement on Human Fraternity where Pope Francis and a Grand Imam jointly declared, among other problematic statements, that God wills…Continue Reading

German cardinal criticizes ‘synodal path,’ exhorts German Church to ‘remain Catholic’

COLOGNE, Germany, June 5, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, the head of the Archdiocese of Cologne in Germany, has called on the Church in Germany to strengthen its identity as part of the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic…Continue Reading

US bishop reverses plan to ban Communion on tongue as churches reopen

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Douglas Deshotel has revised his decision to allow only reception of the Eucharist in the hand amid the coronavirus pandemic. He credited guidelines issued by the Thomistic Institute for correcting his previous…Continue Reading

Sainthood causes open for St John Paul II’s parents

A ceremony launching the causes of the Wojtyłas took place at the Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wadowice, John Paul II’s birthplace. At the ceremony, the Kraków Archdiocese officially formed the tribunals that will seek…Continue Reading

President Trump on National Day of Prayer: “Never Forget That All Things are Possible With God”

On this National Day of Prayer, Americans reaffirm that prayer guides and strengthens our Nation, and we express, with humility and gratitude, our “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”  As one Nation under God, we share a legacy…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

After AOC decries statue, Hawaiian Catholic says St Damien of Molokai ‘gave his life’ serving lepers

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 31, 2020 / 01:28 pm MT (CNA).-   A Hawaiian Catholic catechist said that St. Damien of Molokai is a “hero” to the Hawaiian people, after a prominent congresswoman claimed the statue honoring him in the U.S. Capitol is part of colonialism and “patriarchy and white supremacist culture.”  St. Damien “gave his life” serving the isolated leper colony at Kalaupapa peninsula on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, said Dallas Carter, a…Continue Reading

Catholic bishops fear Scotland’s hate crime law could criminalize Bible and Catechism

CNA Staff, Jul 29, 2020 / 06:00 am MT (CNA).- Catholic bishops have said that proposed hate crime legislation in Scotland could criminalize the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  In a statement issued July 29, the bishops argued that the Scottish Government’s new Hate Crime and Public Order Bill could lead to censorship of Catholic teaching. “We are also concerned that section 5 of the Bill creates an offense of possessing inflammatory material which, if taken…Continue Reading

Catholic schools plan waivers, remote learning, as officials weigh safe reopenings

Denver Newsroom, Jul 31, 2020 / 03:00 am MT (CNA).- As the beginning of the fall school term approaches, Catholic schools in dioceses across the U.S. are asking the parents of students returning in person to sign waivers of liability amid the risk of coronavirus infection. At the same time, many dioceses are also offering remote learning options for parents who do not wish to send their children back to school in person. One such…Continue Reading

Fire torches Catholic parish offices, chapel in North Carolina

Denver Newsroom, Jul 28, 2020 / 02:30 pm MT (CNA).- A fire tore through the parish offices of a historic Catholic church in Monroe, North Carolina early Monday morning, and though the damage is extensive, the church’s pastor is thankful that the blaze did not touch the main sanctuary or the Blessed Sacrament. Father Benjamin Roberts told CNA he arrived at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Monday morn

Priests for Life Fr. Frank Pavone resigns from Trump campaign roles

Priests for Life national director Fr. Frank Pavone has resigned from advisory positions in the reelection campaign of President Donald Trump. The priest withdrew at the direction of Church authorities, he told CNA Friday. “I’ve been requested by the competent ecclesiastical authority not to have an official title/position on the advisory boards. So, as a priest in good standing, I’ve followed that request,” Pavone told CNA July 24, in response to questions about his role…Continue Reading

The Bishop Strickland Hour – Week of July 28

Turkey’s Erdogan… Sparks Controversy In Hagia Sophia Conversion

By JOHN J. METZLER (Editor’s Note: John J. Metzler is a United Nations correspondent covering diplomatic and defense issues. He is the author of Divided Dynamism: The Diplomacy of Separated Nations; Germany, Korea, China.) + + Its very name Hagia Sophia evokes the ancient mysteries of Byzantium. Its setting along the Golden Horn on the…Continue Reading

Our Problem Is Not Too Many Babies, But Too Few Babies

By STEVEN MOSHER (Editor’s Note: Steven W. Mosher [@StevenWMosher] is the president of the Population Research Institute and the author of Bully of Asia: Why China’s Dream Is the New Threat to World Order. LifeSiteNews first published this commentary on July 27.) + + (LifeSiteNews) — Amidst all the gloom and doom about overpopulation, occasionally…Continue Reading

Is Dialogue Possible Any Longer?

By DONALD DeMARCO The meaning of the word “dialogue” is to speak across (dia) the “logos.” The “logos” refers to the source of reason that makes it possible for people to see the same thing. Reason unites because it is the common reality that binds people together. For Catholics, the “logos” is the “Word,” and…Continue Reading

American “Stormtroopers” — A Bright Shining Lie

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN With the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse under nightly siege from violent radicals, and Portland’s police hard-pressed to protect it, President Trump sent in federal agents to secure the building.The reaction from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi:“The use of Stormtroopers under the guise of law and order is a…Continue Reading

Who’s Standing Up For Him? Now They’re Targeting God

By BARBARA SIMPSON (Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on WorldNetDaily, www.wnd.com, July 17. All rights reserved. Barbara Simpson has a 20-year radio, TV, and newspaper career in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.) + + Just in case people haven’t noticed, probably because mainstream media ignore or downplay them, there’s been a rash of…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Elijah Hears The Voice Of The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Nineteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: 1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13aRomans 9:1-5Matt. 14:22-33 In the first reading today, we are given insight into the life of prayer. Elijah goes to Mount Horeb, which is also Mount Sinai, and there he experiences a number of powerful and even terrifying events: wind, earthquake, and fire. The Lord…Continue Reading

Bishop Strickland . . . On Sunday, The Lord’s Day, And Our Day

By MOST REV. JOSEPH STRICKLAND In an inspiring apostolic letter entitled The Lord’s Day (Dies Domini), issued on Pentecost Sunday 1998, Pope St. John Paul II gave a masterful summary of the Christian understanding of Sunday, and underscored our obligation to honor the Lord’s Day. The letter began with these words:“The Lord’s Day — as Sunday was called from apostolic…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Commenting in his parish bulletin about the “cancel culture” of recent days, Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City mentioned the efforts to censor such patriotic songs as America the Beautiful. He said that “there are also demands to eliminate our National Anthem because the author owned slaves. In fact, Francis Scott…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… They Fought Back And Won

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The news hit the skids this past week about my parishioners Sid and Susanna Marcus who fought back against Big COVID19 and won.I don’t know for sure, being a layman when it comes to medical issues, but doctors who are a lot smarter than I am, such as Vernon Coleman, seem to think the stats…Continue Reading

Nothing Can Separate Us From The Lord

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:1-3Romans 8:35, 37-39Matt. 14:13-21 In the second reading today, St. Paul asks the question: “What will separate us from the love of Christ?” He goes on to give a number of possible conditions that could separate us from Christ: anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or the…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Charles Lwanga Of Uganda And Companions

By DEB PIROCH As the world becomes increasingly politically correct, we would do well to remember the sainthood of St. Charles Lwanga and his 24 or more companions who went to their deaths over 160 years ago, upholding chastity and resisting the deviant sexuality ordered by their king.Born in Buganda in south-central Uganda under the rule of good King Muteesa…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Valentine: Saint Of Love And Epilepsy

By DEB PIROCH One . . . or two? During the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II, we hear of the martyrdom of St. Valentine. Changes were occurring in the Roman Empire; in the third century governments as opposed to mere local authorities began persecution of Christians and forbade conversion to the faith. It was circa AD 269 that St.…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)