what a piece of work

what a piece of work is man

I started the day today with a long conversation with a fellow advocate who has passed through long periods of discouragement in our mission of seeking justice for youth. After twenty faithful years, she is organizing her orderly exit from the arena.

Part of her frustration stems from the fact that we are fighting a many-headed beast. Two years after the Supreme Court’s ruling against the practice of sentencing kids to automatic life-without-parole, multiple state legislatures and governors are still figuring out ways to get around the ruling. For anyone who deals with the inmates who are affected by their actions, as is she, this is a particularly difficult time.

We agreed that one thing which separates her experience from mine is that she is dealing with an undifferentiated population of inmates judged guilty of all manner of violent crimes, whereas I restrict my practice exclusively to the “purity” of parricides. Not only are most parricidal acts easier to justify because of the severe abuse usually involved, but so few parricides ever go on to commit crimes of any kind. Our position is that parricides are not common criminals but survivors. The System may lump parricides together with common criminals and treat them the same, but they are different.

Indeed, with some justification I see parricides as having a higher potential than others who may be involved with the System, and it is this higher potential which sustains my efforts.


Groove of the Day

Listen to the cast of Hair performing “What a Piece of Work Is Man”


1 Response to “what a piece of work”

  1. 1 anonymouse
    June 14, 2014 at 4:02 am

    “whereas I restrict my practice exclusively to the “purity” of parricides.” I think it safe to say that you restrict your involvement even further, specifically to juvenile parricides, since as you have often pointed out, most parricides are actually committed by adults. And at first take, your comment about “survivors” seems to further narrow your focus to those who were likely victims of abuse and/or neglect.

    Yesterday there came a report out of Tacoma, Washington, of a 16yo boy who is accused of beating his father to death with a cane, apparently after the father had been yelling at the mother in a telephone conversation. I’m no professional, but the alleged trigger event and the impulsive use of the cane tell me there may be much yet to be revealed.

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