when pigs fly … expect the unbelievable

Archive for February 2014

Wednesday I returned from an ABA Site Visit to Mercer Law School in Macon, GA.  I was charmed by the students, the faculty, the facilities and the town.  

Today I read in the ABA Online Journal that something funny was going on in GA when I was there — something that does not leave me with the very gentle feeling about the GA bar that I had after meeting many Mercer Law graduates who had ascended the bench at a reception of Mercer Law Alums planned for our visit. While I was there, a Georgia appeals court judge ordered a new trial for a convicted rapist, because, in the Court’s opinion the woman who complained of the attack didn’t behave like a victim when she made the report the next day.  The Judge is Christopher McFadden.  The victim — a double-victim, if you ask me, is a woman with DOWN syndrome, and the alleged perpetrator — according to the judge — didn’t behave like someone who had recently perpetrated a series of violent crimes.  In “explaining” his decision, the judge said that the convictions on multiple counts of rape that the jury returned do not have “the approval of the court’s mind and conscience.”

Don’t you want to scream:  WHY CARES?

Here’s the other problem.  This deal may turn out as a triple-whammie because the Judge, Christopher McFadden, is actually an appellate judge who was serving as a trial judge for this case.  When the Judge’s decision is appealed (the DA has already made that determination) McFadden will have the opportunity to recuse himself.  What if he doesn’t?

According to the Atlanta Constitution, prosecutors sought McFadden’s recusal after the decision, the story says. The recusal motion cited evidence that included semen found on the bed and a doctor’s findings that were consistent with forcible rape. McFadden refused to recuse himself, and prosecutors are appealing to McFadden’s appeals court. McFadden released a statement saying ethics rules prevent him from commenting.  Taking the easy way out……..

Shirley Temple Black died on February 10, 2014.  Probably the pre-eminent child star of her era — certainly as popular as “the Beav” was in the 50s — she was actually the world’s top earning movie star (child or not) during 1935 to 1938. (Unfortunately, her father, while managing her funds, took bad financial advice and made bad financial decisions, leaving her only $44,000 for a child’s “life-time” of work.  She didn’t do as well as a teenaged star. She missed the leading role in The Wizard of Oz (Judy Garland got it). And she got on with her life, never making a movie after 1950.  In 1967, she lost a race for US Congress, but a few years later other avenues of public service opened up to her.  In 1969, President Nixon named her a delegate for the United Nations General Assembly.  Then came an ambassadorship to Ghana.  In the mid 70s she served as President Ford’s Chief of Protocol and later served as ambassador to Czechoslovakia.

“I don’t like to do negatives; there are always pluses to things” she said, when facing breast cancer.  And there were.  She long outlived the projection that physicians gave her, and she continued to add positive things to the life of the American community.


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