Monday, April 1, 2019

2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #210 "BEATING THE DRUM FOR JUSTICE"

        Recently one of my favorite people ordered a book for me from Amazon that is entitled Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (Spiegel & Grau, 2015), saying that she had read it and thought of me.  I was flattered, because this is a book about an attorney/author in the Alabama and Georgia area who filed appeals on death penalty cases and told us about the stories and players surrounding them.  And, if one accepts Mr. Stevenson’s facts as true (which I do), there have been many atrocious cases in those states even into the late 1980s in which African Americans were put to death for crimes for which they were factually innocent.  The existence of just one of those cases is simply too much, but there were many.  And even if the guilt was fairly established, the book quoted the statistic that a Black man was eleven times more likely in those states to receive a death penalty sentence if his victim had been a Caucasian instead of the victim being Black.  This fact cannot make us proud!
           Many people in the African American community were terrified of the police and the court system – and for good reason.  How can we respond?  As one older Black lady was quoted in the book as saying to the author when he was working on one of his cases: “You must beat the drum for Justice!”  In that regard, in August of 2010, I published two back-to-back articles in the Los Angeles Daily Journal that advocated the full repeal of the death penalty throughout the United States.  My argument was then and is still that, regardless of one’s political philosophy, the death penalty is simply not working.  (The two articles are enclosed for those who would like to read them.)  What do you think?  Please let me know your thoughts and then spread the word to your social media and other friends to help us abolish the death penalty – once and for all.  Let’s all join together and beat the drum for Justice!   

Quote for the week: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”  Abraham Lincoln

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President





By the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.

Monday, March 25, 2019

2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBETTY: #209 "A LESSON FROM DOGS"

 The old saying is that dogs love their owners more than they love themselves – and I believe it.  So let’s take a lesson from dogs.   They love us regardless of our heritage, race or economic status, or whether we are overweight or slim.  If we treat them well, they will give us tribute, security and wonderful companionship and affection.  What a great lesson for us all to learn, and also a particularly great lesson to use in mentoring our children!  In fact, this reminds me of the lyrics in the song “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught” in the musical South Pacific, which ended with:

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!”

The most important thing in our relationships is that we are all brothers and sisters, and children of God.  All small children understand this reality, as seen by the fact that they will voluntarily play with any other child their age.  But they soon learn discrimination based upon artificial factors from us adults.  I think of it this way: We are all in the Service Business: Treat people well, and they will treat you the same way.  Similarly, successful employers know that if they treat their employees well, they will almost always treat the employers and their companies the same way. So say it how you will: “What Goes Around Comes Around;” “Reap as Ye Shall Sew;” or “Do unto Others as You Would Have Them Do unto You.”  These are the lessons that can be learned from Man’s Best Friend, and I wish more of us would take them to heart.  If we did, the world would be a more peaceful place, and everyone’s lives would be more fulfilling. 

Quote for the week: “Don’t just do something, stand there.”  Secretary of State Dean Rusk during a meeting in the Oval Office in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis.



Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President

By the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.

Monday, March 18, 2019

2 PARAGRAPHS 4 LIBERTY: #208 "IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE"

      Recently I mediated a case in which two medical professionals who did not know each other got involved in what can only be called an ego fight while driving their cars on a road as it merged from two lanes into one.  And neither would yield to the other, which resulted in one of their cars crossing the double center line into oncoming traffic, obliterating an oncoming car and killing the two men inside it.  In the blink of an eye.  Liberty allows us mostly to go where we want, do what we want and be what we want.  But we responsible human beings would all be well advised to stop for a moment of reflection and cognizantly determine that when something happens to us, even in the blink of an eye, we will keep control of ourselves.  I know that these two men, who are otherwise good citizens and respected in their professions, wish they had made such a determination and lived up to it.  But for them it is too late.  So two innocent people died and the lives of the family members of each of the four participants are changed forever.  (And this incident will always affect me as well.)

Author and entrepreneur Laura Fenamore once said that “We can control how we respond to things we can’t control.”  And she is right.  Let’s all strive to control how we respond, even in challenging and unforeseeable stressful situations.  Someone cuts us off on the highway, insults us in a restaurant, or bumps into us while walking in a shopping mall, keep control.  Set the example for the way good and responsible people should respond – every time.  And show that to our children – by example and teaching.  We each have the Liberty to do that.  And, who knows, maybe that will keep us and our families from situations of despair and loss in the future.


Judge Jim Gray (Ret.)
2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with
Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President


Quote for the week: “Today was a great day.  I sold my condo for $1.2 million in cash – until I remembered that I was only leasing it.”



By the way, these columns are now on Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray@wordpress.com.  Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty.